The History of Clark Co., WI 1881
Transcribed from Pg. 227 - 252 "The History of Northern Wisconsin" by Janet Schwarze
LOCATION AND NATURAL FEATURES
Clark County, situated a little northwest of the center of the State, settled as early as 1844, and created out of territory taken from Jackson County, by act of the Legislature, approved July 6, 1853, is one of the most valuable if not the most valuable lumber districts in the State. It is bounded on the north by Chippewa County, on the east by Marathon and Wood counties, on the south by Jackson and on the west by Chippewa and Eau Claire Counties. Its central part is drained by the Black River and its branches, its eastern part by branches of the Wisconsin, and its western by affluents of the Chippewa River. Black River running from north to south, divides the county into two nearly equal parts. The West Wisconsin railway crosses the southwest corner of the county, the Wisconsin Central along the northern boundary, and the Chicago, St. Paul, Minnesota & Omaha runs a branch from Merrillan to Neillsville, a distance of about fourteen miles. This latter was completed and opened in July 1881. The county contains twenty-two townships and is nearly forty miles wide.
The surface of the country is for the most part gently undulating, and is divided naturally into lumber, swamps and prairie, the former predominating. East of Neillsville for a distance of twenty miles, the country presents a rolling appearance with a dense growth of heavy timber, embracing oak, hickory, basswood, elm and butternut. The pineries are located along Black River and its tributaries and are sources of immense wealth to those interested, from two to three hundred millions of feet of lumber being out annually. In the Winter the smoke of the camp fires can be seen for a distance of forty miles, it is said, along the Black River, and the ring of the ax and the song of the workman can be heard from morn till night during that season of the year.
The soil in the southern part is a sandy loam, and in the northern part a clay loam. It is admirably adapted to the growth of cereals and vegetables, which are cultivated as successfully as in the southern portion of the State.
The water available in the county is abundant. The Black River, for nearly its entire course through the county, is one continuous succession of rapids, with a full averaging for over forty miles fully fifteen feet to the mile. This power is susceptible of improvement at any point, the bed of the stream and its banks being rocky and the soil of such compact nature as to render the building of dams a comparatively safe and easy operation. When the material resources of the county are fully developed, as seems now to be the intent, all its water power must and will be employed. It is of priceless value and estimated at its true worth by the inhabitants.
The only one of the lower Silurian formations occurring in this county is the Potsdam sandstone which forms the basement rock of its southern portion, the primary rising to the surface in the northern portion. The peculiar irregularities of the line of junction between the two formations, the extension southward along the stream valleys of long strips of the crystal-line rocks, the corresponding northward extension, along the divides of the sandstone and the difficulties met with in tracing the boundary are familiar to all.
A large proportion of the sandstone area in the county is level and to a considerable extent occupied by marshes. Underneath these marshes, which, to a large extent have peat bottom, sandstone is commonly found at shallow depths. On some of the dividing ridges again, the sandstone country becomes considerably elevated, and has more or less a rolling character. The divide between Black and Yellow Rivers in the eastern portion of the county is considerably elevated above the surrounding country, but is very heavily covered with glacial materials and presents therefore a much more even surface. The larger part of this sandstone area is within the region of heavy timber, chiefly pine; usually the sandstone of these counties is but a thin covering upon the crystalline rocks which appear in all of the deeper stream valleys. High bluffs of the sandstone, however, occur, carrying its thickness up into the hundreds of feet, and bearing witness to the great thickness which once must have existed over all the region.
Along Black River from Neillsville to Black River Falls, sandstone is quite frequently exposed in or near the banks of the river, the bed of which is on the crystalline rock. West of the river is a sandstone outlier 175 feet high and about one-third of a mile in length; the upper portions of which are perpendicular ledges of bare rock. The sandstone is heavily bedded, indurated, coarse grained and light colored. From the summit of the bluff a number of similar outliers can be seen dotting the country to the west and south and one or two to the north.
For a half a mile below French's mill the Neillsville road follow, the west bank of the river at an elevation of thirty feet above the water. On the east side of the road, granite is exposed in the river bank and on the west side a ridge of horizontal sandstone thirty to fifty ft high. The, sandstone is cross laminated, coarse, yellowish, and made up of much rolled quartz grains, which reach sometimes as much as one-eighth of an inch in diameter.
In Town 21, Range 4 west, and Town 22, Range 4 west, ledges of sandstone form the river bank for long distances, rising twenty to forty feet from the water, and are in a number of placer, to be seen overlying or abutting against primary schists. This sandstone is usually of a light yellowish color, coarse, and somewhat indurated, and includes beds of red and green sandy shade. The lowest layers are often affected by a very marked cross-lamination, the thickness so affected, being often as much as six to ten feet.
The original incentive to attract pioneers thitherward, were the immense pine forests, which with other species of timber occupied not less than sixty-five per cent. of the surface of the county forty years ago. It was this that attracted' the Mormons into the present limits of Clark County, in 1844, and theirs was the first visit of white men, with the exception of St. Germain. In the Fall of 1836, the latter, then in his sixteenth year, hired out in Canada, to the American Fur Company, made his way to the then Territory of Wisconsin, by the Lake Superior route, and was sent south the same fall with a party of traders, passing the ensuing Winter on the east fork of Black River, in the present county of Clark. At the date above mentioned, the Mormons came into Black River for the purpose of cutting logs, and sawing them into lumber at Black River Falls, thence to be run down the Mississippi, for use at Nauvoo in the erection of the Mormon tabernacle projected at that point.
The representatives of Hyrum Smith, accomplished their work in time, without endeavoring to proselyte or preparing to practically illustrate their peculiar creed in this section. For a year after their departure, Clark County, as it afterwards became, was uninhabited.
In September, 1839, James and Alexander O'Neill, who had resided in Prairie du Chien for a number of years, determined to abandon that point, and visit the pineries, skirting Black River and vicinity, with a view to engage in the business of milling at some available point on that stream. Accordingly, having laden a canoe with furniture and provisions, they proceeded up the Mississippi to the mouth of Black River, thence continuing their journey, reached Black River Falls late in the month of their departure from Prairie du Chien. An examination of the resources of the country decided them to remain, and selecting a site three miles below the Falls, on a creek to the east of the river, erected a mill. Here they remained for nearly six years, during which period they did a large and lucrative business.
In the Spring of 1845, they decided to once more change their base of operations, and in June of that year, James O'Neill, Henry O'Neill, who died in 1859, with E. L. Brockway, who subsequently became a resident of Little Falls, in Jackson County, and Samuel and William Ferguson, accompanied by a number of laborers, removed to the present village of Neillsville, and became the first settlers in what has since been organized as Clark County. The party came overland in a wagon, drawn by an ox team, cutting their way through the brush and other obstructions, and were two days on the trip. This was the first road ever made in the county.
At that time the village site, as also a large portion of the count, was an uninhabited wilderness. Game of all kind was abundant; deer, wolves, otter, mink, beaver and martin were very plenty. Deer could be shot from the door of O'Neill's log cabin, and wolves would frequently chase them around into the clearing, the deer escaping by taking refuge in the dam behind the mill. The Indians inhabiting the county were principally Chippewas. The dividing line between that tribe and the Winnebagos on the south was nearly at the confluence of the East Fork with the Black River. They received the new comers in a friendly spirit, and as settlers began to come in, brought peltries to sell or exchange for pork and flour. They excelled the Winnebago's in cleanliness and intelligence, were neither vicious nor dangerous, thought given to stealing, and it was the boast of their chief that none of his tribe ever shed the blood of a white man or his family.
Immediately upon their arrival, trees were felled, hewn and shaped, and within a brief period, a rough cabin, 18X24, was erected on the bank of O'Neill's Creek, near where the mill was afterwards built. this was the first house raised in the county. It was, as compared with the domiciles which have since been substituted, a cheerless abode, but for the times, comfortable if not luxurious. Upon its completion, the mill was begun, and before the close of the year in readiness for work. It also was of logs, and was located in the present bed of the creek. It was of sufficient dimensions for all business of that day, supplied with one upright saw, with capacity of 4,000 feet every twelve hours, and worked continuously, as pine logs could be easily obtained along O'Neill's Creek, which were easily obtained along O'Neill's Creek, which were easily floated down to the mill. When the same were cut, the lumber was rafted in platforms at the foot of the mill, run to the mouth of the creek, where ten platforms were arranged in a more compact and solid manner, and combined in rafts which usually contained about ten thousand feet, and run to the Mississippi, thence to Burlington, Iowa, consigned to Alexander O'Neill, and sold for the average of ten dollars per thousand.
At this time, the Mormons had not yet bad adieu to Black River and its vicinity, and a number of them had strayed down into that part of Crawford County now included in Clark County, to log. While thus engaged, one of the "latter day saints," named Cunningham, inadvertently slipped into a creek that ran through the forest wherein himself and companions were at work, and before assistance could be afforded him, was removed to Black River Falls, where it was interred according to the rites of the Mormon church. His was the first death in the county, and the stream wherein the rider of the pale horse claimed his allegiance, is still known as "Cunningham's Creek." In 1846, Andrew Grover, accompanied by Hamilton McCullom and a man named Beebe, reached Neillsville, and erected a mill on Cunningham's Creek, two miles below the village, of dimension and capacity similar to the O'Neill mills. Jonathan Nichols, John Perry and wife, who located in what is now the town of Weston.
These enterprising speculators, together with Kennedy and wife, composed the arrivals of 1846, and the buildings cited the only improvements completed. An event occurred during 1846, which occasioned inestimable enjoyment to the settlers for miles around, and put a period to the bachelorhood of James O'Neill, it might be added without benefit of clergy, for the union between himself and Miss Jane Douglass was accomplished through the intervention of a Justice of the Peace. On Christmas eve, 1846, Mr. O'Neill gave a dancing party at his house, to which the world at large, in Clark County and about Black River Falls, were invited. Among those who attended were: W. T. Price, Jacob Spaulding, Jonathan Nichols, Thomas Sturges, B. F. Johnson, Levi Avery, John Perry and wife, Mr. Yeatman, Mr. and Mrs. Van Austin and daughter, Joseph Stickney, Alonzo Stickney, Miss Susan Stickney, Benjamin Wright, Samuel Wright, the Misses Wright, Thomas Douglass, Robert Douglass, Mark Douglass, the Misses Isabella and Jane Douglass, Miss Lucinda Nichols, and some few others. Hudson Nichols and James Bennett were the fiddlers, and the dance was kept 'up until daylight on Christmas morning. That day the guests returned to their homes, and Mr. O'Neill, hitching up his team, accompanied the Douglasses to their farm, near Mel- rose, going thither on the ice, up Black River. It is to be presumed that as the sleighs glided down beneath the branches, which, silvered with frost, over-reached Black River, on that lovely Christmas morning, the maidens were as happy, and their lovers' hearts were as strongly moved with the tender passion, as are those of lovers to-day, when the forests have given way to beautiful farms and thriving villages. Here began the courtship of James O'Neill, which culminated in his marriage to Miss Jane Douglass, the event being celebrated on the 7th of March, 1847, at Melrose, now in Jackson County, John Valentine officiating, in his capacity of Justice of the Peace. The happy couple came at once to Neillsville, where for many years they drifted, band in hand, down the tide of time, until her race had run its course, and her firmament was rolled up like a scroll.
The first marriage within the present limits of Clark County is claimed to have occurred this year, also. It was that between Simon Winfield and a girl in the employ of Mr. O'Neill. She was the first, "young lady" to settle in the county, and before she had been long established, plighted her troth and dismissed the frivolities of youth, to assume the cares of married life. A Justice of the Peace was called into requisition, Mr. O'Neill commemorated the event by a select party, after which they left the vicinity, and were heard of no more.
Another claim is made that William Lewis was married prior to this date. While in LaCrosse, be became acquainted with an ex-Mormon wife, to whom he made overtures that resulted in her consenting to return with him to Clark County, as housekeeper. The relations of the pair, however, were not acceptable to their neighbors, who urged them to procure legal sanction to a condition of affairs that existed by sufferance. To this they consented ; a parson and a jug of whisky were obtained at Black River Falls, the couple were united, and a general carousal succeeded.
In 1847, emigration to Clark County was extremely limited. Among those who came were: Samuel Cowley, after whom Cowley's Creek is named; I. S. Mason, Thomas LaFlesh, Nathan Myrick, H. J. B. ("Scoots") Miller, and a man named Dibble, who built a mill on Cunningham's Creek, two miles below Neillsville. Another mill was built this year, by Jonathan Nichols, three miles above the village, on Cowley's Creek. These constituted the improvements completed in 1847.
The 7th of June, 1847, will ever be remembered by old residents as the day when the most extensive and disastrous flood ever known in Clark County overtook and destroyed many of the material improvements which had been completed at that time. On the afternoon of the previous day, the rain began to fall and a refreshing shower was hailed with delight. With each succeeding hour the area of the storm was increased, and from gentle drops, which were eagerly lapped up by the parched earth, it gradually assumed a violence never before witnessed. The rain fell in torrents until after midnight, and when morning dawned, Black River had risen twenty-five feet and was flooding the country in all directions. As a result, every mill on that stream was swept off, causing great damage, which required months to repair. But as day advanced, the sun came out, the waters receded, the river retired within its banks, and within twenty-four hours after the rains bad ceased, the debris of mills, logs which had been left far in the woods, and other evidences of loss, were all that remained to remind one of the recent war of the elements.
About this time occurred the first murder in the county, which happened under the following circumstances: A man named Bill Flynn, a logger on Black River, became involved in a row with one of the Chippewa Indians during a drunken bout, and the altercation resulted in a hand to hand encounter, during which the latter received injuries which were speedily followed by death. Thereupon Flynn fled, and the Indians to which his victim belonged sought his whereabouts without avail. He escaped the penalty of his crime, but never returned to the vicinity of its commission.
In 1848, settlers came in more numerously than during previous years, but without sufficient frequency of arrivals to materially augment the number, or accelerate the clearing of the lands, or enrichment of their owners. The new comers included J. W. Sturdevant, a Mr. Van Dusen, Mr. Waterman; Leander Merrill, Benjamin Merrill, John Morrison, probably Moses Clark, John Lane, Robert Ross, Elijah Eaton, Albert Lambert, and doubtless a very few others, whose names do not occur to the informants of these facts. The Merrills built a mill one mile below Myrick & Miller's old site, Lane another in the same vicinity, and Morrison near that of Lane's. Van Dusen & Waterman began milling eighteen miles above Neillsville, in what is now known as Eatontown, as also did Albert Lambert. Somewhat later, Elijah Eaton purchased the mill of Van Dusen & Waterman, and carried on the business for many years.
The year 1849 was neither characterized by large accessions to the population nor important events calculated to mould the concern the future of the county. Benjamin F. French, Allen Bidwell, James French and John French came in this year to stay, and in March Isabella Jane O'Neill, a daughter to James and Jane O'Neill, was born, the first birth in the county. The event took place in a house on the site of which stands the residence of Nelson Covill, to whom the most important arrival of 1849 was married in after years.
The California fever, it was thought, was the cause of this absence of settlement, though stragglers, shingle makers, loggers, etc., came in, but remained only a short time before seeking other scenes and engagements.
In 1850, there was, it is estimated, about fifty acres cleared where Neillsville now stands, begun in 1845, when James O'Neill began razing the trees and opened the first farm in the county, and continued until a village site was provided. The clearing extended up the hill and included the ground where the school-house now stands, but there was a lack of improvements then, nowhere visible today. At that time, the settlement were embraced within a comparatively small area, extending to Eaton's mill on the north and that of Myrick and Miller on the south, with no prospect of breaking the solitude which inhabited the eastern and western portions of the present county. During this year, Hamilton, McCullom & Co. added a small farm to the resources of his mill, the second resident of the county to engage in agricultural pursuits, and meeting, it is to engage in agricultural pursuits, and meeting, it is supposed, with fair rewards for his enterprise.
For the ensuing two years, Mr. O'Neill is confident no one came into the county as a permanent settler. Why, can scarcely be explained. As already stated, a large number of laborers arrived here during the early Fall, but after engaging all the Winter in the lumber camps, abandoned their temporary citizenship in the Spring and returned to the cities. Like the class of men who were known as "suckers" in the lead regions fifty years ago, because of their similitude to fish of that name in their disposition to tarry not long in one place, the loggers were peculiarly nomadic and would not be satisfied to remain after the "run of logs" had been started. For the period above mentioned, the prospects of the future county realizing unto the settlers a fruition of their hopes, were far from promising. The mills were run daily, and large quantities of lumber, as also booms of logs, were prepared and shipped to market. Supplies were obtained at La Crosse, Burlington, St. Louis and elsewhere, landed at the mouth of Black River, and "poled" up that stream in boats of the most primitive construction and conveniences. Gradually, of course, time was found to clear up farms and raise grain, but for many years boats "poled" up the rapids were the only means of obtaining supplies.
By an act of the Legislature, approved July 6, 1853, Clark County was created out of Jackson County, and made to embrace the same area it has since claimed, except the north tier of townships, which were set off to Taylor in 1875. The county was organized into a single town, Pine Valley, and its first officers were: James O'Neill, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, with Hugh Wedge and James French, Supervisors; B. F. French, Treasurer, and Samuel C. Boardman, Clerk.
In 1853, Samuel Weston, accompanied by David Robinson and others, arrived in the county from Maine, and, locating on Black River, two miles above Neillsville, established a village called Weston, and commenced running logs down the stream. When the county was set apart, a petition prying that the county seat be located at Neillsville was submitted to the Legislature. While in transit, or after the petition came into the possession of that body, Neillsville was stricken out and Weston substituted, in which condition the same was adopted. When this was brought to the knowledge of residents favoring Neillsville, it created consternation, indignation and determination. Measures were at once taken to correct the wrong, and through the intervention of a Mr. Gibson, at that time in the Legislature, and act was passed authorizing the people to vote on a change of the county seat from Weston to the northwest quarter of Section 14, Town 24, Range 4 west, where Neillsville now stands. This took place in November, 1854, and as the relative prominence of the two places depended upon the result of the election, a great struggle took place between the rival factions. There were two polling places in the town: O'Neill's and Parker's tavern, eleven miles below Neillsville resulted in a majority of four for Weston, and of that cast a Parker's was twenty-one in favor of Neillsville, thus deciding the issue. The whole number of votes cast was 104, making the net majority in favor of Neillsville seventeen, and while the latter place would have remained the center of operations for lumbermen, regardless of its being so selected, there can be no question but that its prosperity has been largely due to its being the county seat.
At the election for the county officers in the Fall of 1854 also, resulted in the selection of George Hall for Sheriff, B. F. French Treasurer, and S. C. Boardman County Clerk and Register of Deeds. Chauncey Blakeslee was County Judge, but was succeeded by R. Dewhurst, the most important act of whose official career is said to have been his walking from Neillsville to Loyal, twenty miles, in order to marry an impatient couple pleading at the the altar. This year a Mr. Howard, Hutchinson, and probably I. S. Mason were among the arrivals. The former settled in the town of Grant and opened farms; the latter engaged in logging on Wedge Creek.
The county having been set apart and the county seat located, it was determined to lay out a village and perfect arrangements for projecting the improvements. At that time, as will be remembered, the county contained but one township--Pine Valley. Since that date the domain has been apportioned as follows: Levis Township in 1857; Weston in 1859; Lynn, 1862; Loyal, 1863; Mentor, 1867; Grant, 1868; Eaton, 1870; Beaver, 1871; York, Hixon and Sherman, 1873; Colby, Unity, Mayville and Washburn, 1874; Sherwood Forest, Hewett and Warner, 1875; Thorp, 1876, and Withee, in 1880.
Accordingly, James O'Neill appropriated four acres to village purposes, and caused the same to be surveyed and platted by Allen Boardman, a practical surveyor. The village then presented the appearance of today, nor a promise that has since been realized. There was two or three little cabins, Robert Roix's hotel, Dr. Baxter (the first physician to settle in the county occupied a hut, as also did Nathan Boardman, Nathan Clapp, Mr. Dickey, B. F. French and the first settler, James O'Neill.
This was really the first village formally laid off in the county. From this date on arrivals were no more numerous than during the previous years. Some were coming in all the time, it is said, but they generally located at or near the village, otherwise proceeding to the lumber regions. Indians abounded for many years, and in their disputes with the rough characters who occasionally strayed among the loggers, were generally worsted. Along in 1856, two men, named Pettengill and Page, known to be desperate characters, encountered a half- breed Indian trading with a Frenchman, named La Chapelle, themselves being also traders. They became involved in a dispute with the Indians, which ended in a shooting bee, three of the Indians being killed, one of them roasted on the fire in the cabin of Pettengill and Page. The latter fled, and some time afterward Pettengill met the half-breed at Hunsicker's tavern, twelve miles north of Neillsville, when he deliberately shot him dead. The chief visited Mr. O'Neill, who was County Treasurer at the time, and was by him directed how to proceed; but nothing came of the matter, the accused having succeeded in eluding justice.
In 1856-7, it is said, the settlers experienced hard times and much suffering-proving a source of discouragement to a majority of the population, at least those who had but recently arrived. Wages dropped to nothing, and when money was received, there was no certainty of its being worth fifty percent. of its face for the payment of necessaries, or lands. It often became worthless in a day. An instance is recorded of a resident having received his Winter's wages, with which he proceeded to La Crosse to pay for lands, and was obliged to borrow money there to make the deficiency between the price of the real estate and the diminished value of his money. But these days have long since passed away, and for years Clark County has been making steady progress.
During the war, the county subscribed men and money to meet the levies made upon her resources for material to be sent to the field; but between 1857 and 1865, the exits were more numerous than the arrivals. In the latter part of the war, lumber appreciated in value and attracted a number of new comers. In 1867, the village of Greenwood was laid out, and two years later Humbird was similarly apportioned. Between 1860 and 1870, Neillsville improved gradually; but until 1876, or thereabouts, the increase in population, development of the country and building up of the villages, was so gradual as to be scarcely perceptible. During the few years succeeding 1876, remarked one of the oldest settlers in the county, there have been more arrivals and more business than during the period of the county's growth prior to that date. This was due to the railroad and other improvements which were completed in those years, and attracted a generous immigration, principally from Maine and New York, who located in villages where they became merchants and professionals in the lumber district and on farms.
Today, the population of the county is not far from 12,000, and while there is a large number of towns with- out permanent residents, there is no portion of the county available for agricultural purposes, but what is utilized therefore. The facilities for getting to and from the outside world are excellent, by turnpike roads and railway lines. The latter include the Central Wisconsin, in the northeast portion of the county, the West Wisconsin, passing the southwest corner, the Green Bay & Minnesota, and more recently the Chicago, Saint Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha, which operate a branch of their main line, from Merrillan to Neillsville, furnish every advantage for the transportation of passengers and commodities.
The religious element is largely, represented, and in an educational point of view, the county is fully up to the times, there being school-houses in every nook and corner where there are pupils to avail themselves of such advantages.
Clark County possesses an immense wealth in the large pineries to be found within its territory, as also an exhaustless soil for farming purposes after the timber, has been appropriated. With the advantages of good roads and with railway lines at every accessible point, it must be admitted that it stands a fair chance of ranking with the most desirable counties in Wisconsin, at no distant day.
The first courthouse was of frame, two stories high, 40x50 in dimensions, and erected by J. & T. Furlong, on land donated for that purpose, in the center of village of Neillsville, by James O'Neill. Its cost was $1,800. The building served its purpose until 1875, when it was removed, and is now occupied as a hardware store, opposite the Reddan House. In the latter year, the present handsome structure was erected. It is of brick, two stories high, the roof being surmounted with a cupola on which stands a statue of Justice. It was completed in the Spring of 1876, under contract with O. B. Bradshaw, and was built at a cost of $35,000.
The county jail was built in the Summer of 1881, by James Hewett, C. Blakeslee, James O'Neill, Sr., and James Sturdevant, who, as security on the bonds of County Treasurer, Allen, were compelled to make good a deficiency discovered in the funds that official held in trust. Part of this obligation was paid, and the balance liquidated by the erection of the jail and Sheriff's house. The former is of brick, compactly built of brick, perfectly secure, well ventilated and lighted, and possessing sufficient accommodations for the times. The residence of the Sheriff is of frame. The total cost of the premises is stated at $7,000.
The county poor-house is located in the town of York, where it was erected in 1880, by Chauncey Blakeslee, in payment of a claim held by the county against Mr. Blakeslee, who was also security on the bonds of County Treasurer, Allen. The building is of frame, with accommodations for twenty-five paupers, and cost $7,000. Attached to the poorhouse proper is a farm of 160 acres, upon which is raised crops, by the sale of which revenue is derived for the support of the institution. The house is now under the care of R. C. Evans, and shelters four inmates.
Early in the Spring of 1857, through the efforts of Beriah Brown, at that time, and previous, Chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee, William C. Tompkins was persuaded to locate in Neillsville and establish the pioneer journal of the county. The paper, which was of limited dimensions, was first issued on the 7th of March of the year in which its editor was persuaded to change his base from Weyauwega to Neillsville, under the name of the Clark County Advocate, with a future that was regarded as promising. Political changes the year of its establishment, included the editor of the Advocate among those who experienced a change of heart so to speak, and upon his entrance into the Republican fold, a spirit of opposition to the paper he controlled began to manifest itself very sensibly. In a brief period after his political apostasy, Tompkins sold the Advocate to J. S. and S. W. Dickinson. This change of ownership was accomplished through the efforts of B. F. French was regarded as a piece of strategy of unprecedented merit. The purchase was consummated, but upon demanding a transfer of the good-will and portables included in the bill of sale, a tart refusal was returned by A. J. Manley, employed in the office, when Dickinson departed whence they came by another way, and reflected upon the situation of affairs amid surroundings the reverse of cheerful.
Not to be defeated, however, the material of the Trempealeau Times, which had in the meantime, had been utilized to the publication of the Trempealeau Pioneer, was purchased from the Utters of the latter place, and removed to Neillsville, where on the 14th of October, 1861, the Union and Flag, a new creation of Dore & Dickinson, was flung to the breeze and attracted considerable notice. In the Spring of 1863, Tompkins laid down the paste-brush and scissors to take his subscribers by the hand for a farewell shake, and left the county. The Advocate, though owned by A. J. Manley, being still continued by C. W. Carpenter who remained in charge until 1865. In Feb., 1864, the Flag was furled, metaphorically speaking, and the county was with but one paper until Jan. 31st, 1867, when J. S. Dore began the publication of the Clark County Journal with himself and E. E. Merritt as editors.
At this time there was considerable rivalry between the Journal and the Advocate which was decided in favor of the former, and Manley discontinuing the publication of the latter removed to Minnesota, Merritt at the same time dissolving his connection with the Journal and locating in St. Louis. The Journal thenceforward until Oct. 25, 1867, enjoyed the field solus (*alone in a private effort) with all the profits, privileges, and appurtenances thereunto belonging, when Merritt returned from St. Louis, and issued the first number of County Republican, being associated in its editorial management with H. H. Hand who retired weeks after six weeks toil, and remained afar from Neillsville journalism until 1870.
The election of 1868 was a triumph of the Republican party and the new paper began to dwell in the green pastures that had previously been occupied by its rival, though the editorial control of the latter was held by Joseph Benedict a brilliant writer who died in 1870. The Journal labored hard to sustain itself; Hand returned to the editorship of the Republican and the two papers were soon involved in a quarrel which was only abandoned when Hand resigned at the suggestion of the Republican's friends a short time prior to the election. The result of that event precipitated the suspension of the Journal, and the Republican grew fat in the sunshine of official favor and local patronage, becoming the property of C. J. Cooper, with D. T. Lindley, editor, in March, 1873, until June, 1873, when the County Press was started by H. J. Hoffman in the cause of Reform. These two papers continued to dwell together unawed by each other until April 1876, when Hoffman purchased the Republican and began the publication of the Republican Press which he still conducts, his brother, E. L. Hoffman, officiating as associate editor.
About the same time the Enterprise was located at Colby in Colby township, but succumbed in time, and the interior of the county remained without a paper until 1879, when the Colby Phonograph was established at that place by Shafer Brothers with Samuel Shafer as editor. On July 7, of the same year, L. B. Ring started the True Republican at Neillsville, and on Oct. 8, 1880, and N. Schultz began the publication of the German American also at the latter place, the only journal in the county published in German.
All these papers are doing a paying business, are conducted, and conclusive evidences of the type of enterprise the inhabitants of Clark County illustrate.
The Clark County Agricultural Society was organized on the 15th of March, 1873, with a large membership and the following officers: John S. Dore, president; L. H. Glass, secretary, and W. T. Hutchinson Treasurer, the vice-presidents, being selected, one from each township. The same year the association purchased forty acres of ground in Section 23, paying therefore $1,200; and completed improvements at a cost of $2,500, whereon exhibitions have been annually given with profitable results. The present officers are: J. F. Canon president; F. J. Vine, secretary; Charles Stuntzky assistant secretary; H. Schuster, treasurer, and L. B. Philpot, marshal.
PINERIES AND LOGGING
The pineries of this portion of Wisconsin, speaking comprehensively, commence on Black River and extend to Iron Mountain, within twenty miles of Lake Superior, a large portion of the way alternating with hardwoods. The first pine down the river is gray pine, and jack pine, with scattering trees of red, white and Norway pine. Proceeding up the river, gray pine diminishes and where a change of the sandy soil to a loom clay and in wet places to hard pan occurs, the red disappears and lofty groves of white pine alternate with splendid tracts of hard wood timber, composed of sugar maples, ash, oak, etc. It is estimated that white pine covers fully one-fourth of the soil of Clark Co., Being located in Hixon, Thorp, Warner and Mentor towns, the 11 cut " from which is taken to the Mississippi River by way of Eau Claire River and P Beef Slough, and in Colby, Mayville, Beaver, Weston, Loyal and Unity towns, whence the logs are run through Black River to La Crosse. The pine is taken off by cutting trees near to Black and Eau Claire rivers and their tributaries, in the season which commences about the lst of November and continues through the Winter, hauling the same to 'the streams, and driving" them down to the mills at high water. The drive " is accomplished by starting the logs into the stream and following them up to prevent jams or break them up when the logs lodge, which they at times do in such quantities that they dam up the river, and so remain until the increased volume of water sweeps it away with a terrible crash. The logs are run down untethered until they reach the mouths of the rivers, where they are caught in "booms " or harbors provided by the consignees, the balance being rafted and run below. The losses entailed by logs drifting into sloughs, becoming stranded on the banks, and being stolen by river thieves, were much larger in an earlier day than now.
Title to these lands is perfected by purchase and transfer, though in some cases lumber dealers contract for the lumber as it. stands, and after a careful estimate is paid for at so much per 1,000 feet, the purchaser procuring its felling and delivery at the mouth of the river. The principal lumbermen operating in Clark County are: N. H. Withee, Bright & Withee, D. J. Spaulding, E. Sawyer, C. 0. Washburn, the Eau Claire Lumber Company, Giles & Holloway, James Hewett, C. L. Coleman, A. & P. Colburn, Robert Schofield, Cullen Ayers and others who are engaged on the Black and Eau Claire rivers.
It is, estimated that 2,500 men are employed in the pineries on Black River, and 800 in those tributary to Eau Claire River. In early days, lumbering was not so extensively carried on. During the war, the price of lumber appreciated and an increased force became necessary to supply the demand. This of course brought a large immigration of laborers into Clark County, few of whom, if any, remaining, however, and by 1868, every point at which logs were accessible was peopled with the logger and his bands. The supply has gradually grown in dimensions, varying to some extent, some years being greater than others, but the average each year since 1868 is estimated at about 200,000,000 feet from the Black River, and 80,000,000 feet from the Eau Claire River district. All logs cut are described by a mark, the original of which has been duly claimed and the claim attested and recorded, as also with the owners initials stamped upon either end of the log. The business is the mainstay of this portion of Wisconsin, and has been instrumental in the settlement and building up of villages and hamlets in Clark County.
The village of Neillsville, and county seat of Clark e County, situated near the junction of O'Neill's Creek with Black River, is usually conceded to be one of the best built villages in the State. It has mostly been built up within the past ten years, and the builders have indicated, in all that they have done, that they were intent alike in tasteful and permanent work. Until very recently, the village has been cut off, so to speak, from the outside world, with which communication was had only by means of a stage which connected with distant railroad stations, and the passenger, when he first visited Neillsville, was surprised at the appearance of a New England village in these northern woods. It stands near where Black River tears itself from confinement among the hills, to make a graceful curve through rich valleys to the village site. The village itself, hemmed in on nearly every side by hills, limiting the prospect to groves that climb gentle declivities, while to the rear O'Neill's Creek rushes complainingly and fretfully onward, until its waters are mingled with those of Black River.
In the center of this secluded spot, at once lovely and romantic, stands the quiet, unpretentious, yet thriving village, and as the visitor walks lazily over its limits, listening to the murmurs of the rippling waters of the creek and the rush and sometimes roar of the river, or watches the mist, as it hangs in twilight curtains about the hills, it requires no poetic imagination to trace in his mind's eye a long cavalcade of romance, chivalry and heroism proceeding from this spot in the days of barbaric domination, in its march over the world. And he, too, will muse upon the genius that once haunted the neighboring forests, may be, which- has departed forever, and a gloom not unlike superstitious dread will only be dissipated when the past vanishes and the present rises before him in all its beauty and magnificence.
As already related, the village was laid out and platted in I855, by James O'Neill, and named in his honor. The year before, as will be remembered, the county seat was located here, after a lively contest, and to this fact is largely due its present prosperity.
At that time, O'Neill's residence and mill, with Samuel Ferguson's bachelor's hall and his blacksmith shop, which stood on the lot where a brickyard has of late years been carried on, were the only buildings to be seen on the four acres appropriated to village purposes. Immediately the news of Mr. O'Neill's action had been promulgated, settlers began to come in, purchase lots and make improvements. The first of these was Robert Roix, who created a tavern where the Rossman House now stands, and this was followed by the construction of two frame buildings for store and residence purposes. They were put up by James O'Neill, and stood, one opposite the Rossman House, the other further north, near the creek. The same Spring, N. M. Clapp settled in the village and built a house on the site of O'Neill's brick building, wherein the Neillsville bank is now located, and Dr. L. M. Baxter put up a, residence on the present site of Gates's meat-market. The same year Frank Cawley came in, also W. K. Dickey, who built a wagon shop and residence where Dewhurst's office now is, and that Fall, Clinton & Quaile brought hither a stock of goods from Black River Falls, and became the first merchants in the village, being domiciled and doing business in the building built by O'Neill opposite the Rossman House. These were the arrivals and improvements of 1855.
On the 26th of February, 1856, the first murder to take place in the village of Neillsville happened. It seems that, some time in the year 1854, Moses Clark and William Paulley became involved in a quarrel at Black River Falls, in which the latter was brutally treated. On the date above indicated, Clark met B. F. French in the store of Clinton & Quaile, and a demand was made on him for a receipt for moneys advanced by French. Some argument followed, and during its progress Paulley interpolated an opinion of Clark, which was far from complimentary, adding that he owed him money, and when asked for it, Clark beat him like a dog.
" Yes, and I'll do it again," replied Clark
"You will, will you?" shouted Paulley. Upon which Clark advanced towards him. He had nearly reached his victim when Paulley drew a revolver and fired two shots into Clark's body, from the effects of which he never recovered. He was taken to Plattville, in Grant Co., where he lodged at the residence of Gideon Hawley, lingering till, June 3o following, when be died.
Paulley was indicted for manslaughter, tried, convicted, and sentenced. After serving out his term at Waupan, he removed to Black River Falls, where he died.
The arrivals, of 1856 included R. Dewhurst and G. W. King, who were the first lawyers to settle in Neillsville; James Hewitt, who began operations by working on the first bridge erected across Black River; W. W. Lemon, who settled in the town of Levis; Daniel Gates, first locating at the mouth of Wedge Creek, but moving to Neillsville in 1861 ; etc., etc.; also Robert Douglass, who built a blacksmith shop where Meinhold & Curn's store now is; Miles Murry, who erected a residence on the site of Dudley's harness shop, and a blacksmith shop adjoining on the east. A Mr. McCaleb came in this year, and put a little frame, still standing, directly north of Dudley's, and Philip Rossman opened the first furniture store, on the present site of Boardman's house. In May, James and Edmond Furlong, the former with a family, and James Lynch and family were accessions to the place. The Furlongs built where now stands the Reddan House, and Lynchs on the lot they have since occupied, adjoining their residence of today. Anson Green purchased Roix's Hotel; Gustavus Sterns settled at Molin's Rapids this year; Daniel Gates at Wedge's Creek, but have since become residents of the village, as did Orson Gates the same year.
The panic of 1857, it is believed, work material injury to the progress of the village, as also to that of the county. Few came in from this year until after the close of the war. Financial stringency produced practical suspension of the lumber interests, and consequent stagnation of business. There was comparatively no farming of consequence, and less trade. The value of farm products depreciated, and prices of commodities increased correspondingly. The effect of these anomalous conditions were perceptibly visible, not alone in Neillsville and Clark county, but also throughout this portion of the Lumber district. Impoverishment, if not ruin, stared many in the face, and escape there from was only accomplished after trials no pen can adequately describe. To the, close of the war, both increase in population and the number of improvements was nominal. As one who is familiar with the facts asserts, there was not to exceed forty heads of families who came into the county during the period between 1857 and 1865, who remained permanently. Others visited the vicinity, but, having canvassed the probabilities of the future decided against remaining, and went elsewhere. In the three years preceding the war, among. those who settled at Neillsville was Chauncey Blakeslee; B, F. Chase, who studied law with Dewhurst & King, S. N. Dickenson; John Dore; William Liverrnan; W. B. Berry; a man named McDonald, who opened a furniture store where the Neillsville Mills now are, and probably others whose names and adventures have not been preserved. George Lord, at first located about twenty miles north of Neillsville, and Leonard R. Stafford, but both of them subsequently became residents of the village. At the same time, the improvements comprehended the frame building now occupied by Gates & Co., which was put up by Chauncey Blakeslee; The O'Neill House was erected by James O'Neill as a private residence; a building south of the Rossman House, occupied at present by F. Klopf, was built by Anson Green for commercial purposes, a brief period the office of the Union Flag; W. B. Berry erected a residence west of the courthouse, where Mr. Youmans still resides; King & Dewhurst built residences on the present site of the latter's home; Orson Bacon, a residence still standing, the courthouse, and some few other buildings.
In 1860, the population of the village did not exceed 250, beside containing a weekly paper, half a dozen stores, and Lawyers and Physicians sufficiently numerous to sell or donate unlimited quantities of physic and counsel. The appearance of the place is represented to have not been nearly so attractive as now, and its improvement in the last 15 years speaks eloquently of the enterprise and substantial character of the men and women who promoted its subsequent growth, wealth of resources.
From this period, up to the close of the war, say old residents, there was no immigration or business to speak of. the same can be said of improvements in the village and adjoining. They were comparatively few in number, and made to serve unambitious uses. The vast lumber region was not then overrun, as now, with labor and enterprise. The farm and the school were not as universal as they are today. Hard times stared all classes in the face with the dawn of day, and only retired when troubled sleep shook off the specter for a brief season. This condition of affairs continued for quite two years before any change began to be manifest, but, since that day, the clouds dispelled, and the light of fortune restored throughout the country to places where its visitation only was need to make them flourish and grow in strength and influence. During all this period, there was little to encourage, less to inspire residents, and Neillsville, like its neighbors, experienced embargoes. No public buildings were erected; schools were barely sustained, and religious organizations met for services, either at private residences or at the courthouse.
In 1861, came the war, and Neillsville was not behind in her donations of money and offer of recruits. Meetings were held in the courthouse, at which James O'Neill, B. F. French, Chauncey Blakeslee and others delivered speeches, urging the proffers of aid to enable the general government to accomplish the suppression of war. Among the soldiers who went out from Clark County, Neillsville contributed nearly one company, which was attached to the western army, and, serving through the war, left the largest proportion of those went from village, lifeless in the trenches. From Pittsburgh Landing, it is said, when mortality among Clark County volunteers was particularly severe, until the surrender, this was the rule. As stated, very few of those who went out among those first called, returned, and those who came back did so bearing the marks of strifes through which they passed. Twenty years have passed since this epoch in the history of American civilization came to pass. Years have passed since many of the leading actors in this drama were borne to the silent halls of death. Voices that were attuned to mourning at their departure, or welcome at their return, are silent, and hands that once scattered flowers upon the graves of heroes, have lost their cunning.
Along in 1862-3, the demand for supplies for the army made times easier throughout the country. Financial stringency which had dwarfed enterprise since 1857, released its grip, and capitalist, farmer, mechanic and laborer took a new hold and renewed their several struggles for supremacy. The price of lumber appreciated, and the demand for laborers was constant. Those favorable combinations produced a train of events which culminated within the ensuing three years in turning the tide against which the country, the States, Wisconsin, Clark County and Neillsville, had been beating. The wide expanse stretching from either bank of the Father of Waters soon gave abundant evidences of material prosperity. They received the swift running light of the morning and basked in its sunshine until the Rocky Mountains intercepted its brilliance and darkness gathered over the scene. Upon their undulating surfaces oceans poured through clouds and wind their fertilizing moisture, and broad fields, teeming with the fatness of a fecund soil, satisfied the desire for bread of all the hungry children of men.
During this period, B. F. French became a resident of the village, removing hither from his farm. Caleb Hubbard adventured into Neillsville, and purchased the hotel now known as the Rossman House, up to-that time owned and maintained by Anson Green. Andrew Burlingham, with his father and sister, Mrs. Morrill, identified with the place. Horace Stiles came in also. A who, after running the gauntlet of a returned to Pennsylvania, whence he came. George Adams settled here about this time, and opened the first drug store in the village, while his brother, who accompanied him, established a dry goods store in the building now occupied by John Klopf.
Very few returned from the war, nor were accessions to its population made in the years immediately succeeding that epoch in the nation's history. As with the population, so with improvements, they were limited in number as also in value; but since that day Paul has planted, Apollos has watered the fertile expanse, and God has given , the increase.
From 1865 to 1870, affairs remained unchanged, to a great extent, though now and then a settler would arrive, and, having investigated the natural resources of Neillsville, as the base of supplies for a large section of the lumber region, would decide to remain. And here it might be remarked that no more law-abiding community was to be found in the Northwest than the residents of Clark County and Neillsville. Upon one occasion two detectives from Chicago accompanied the Sheriff of an adjoining county to Neillsville to secure the arrest of a fugitive from justice who had been indicted for murder. He was located in one of the lumbering camps, and when this was communicated to the Chicago thief-takers they were loth to continue the pursuit, apprehensive lest the "lumber shovers," as they termed those engaged in logging, should unite and prevent an arrest. A couple of citizens, to whom the facts were communicated, endeavored to convince them of their error of judgment, and failing, prepared to undertake the capture themselves. When it became apparent that they were about to lose the reward for which they labored, these exaggerated editions of Bob Acres screwed their courage up to the sticking point, and renewed their hazardous pursuit. All hands reached the lumber camp as day was dawning. The loggers were aroused from their sleep, and, upon being informed of the object of this early visit, not only abstained from attempts at rescue, but aided the authorities in securing their man. The latter confessed his identity, and was delivered to the detectives, who departed with their prisoner with an opinion of the character of those residing " in the woods " radically differing from that with which they were so recently impressed. Indeed, no fear was felt of lawlessness, as no lawlessness existed in the village or country, and this condition of affairs has continued to exist almost without interruption.
During this period, a daily mail was established between Neillsville and Hatfield, and some improvements of a substantial character. These included the brewery, the schoolhouse opposite Firemen's Hall, Hewett & Wood's planing mill, the handsome residence of Robert Ross, and others of a similar character. They were far inferior to the buildings which have since obtained as commodious and elaborate, but they served the purpose for which they were erected, and were regarded as signal examples of enterprise on the part of those who contracted for their building. Among the arrivals were: A. K. Stafford, Emery Bonley, Joel Head, James Delane, John La Shapalle, H. D. Early, Thomas Robinson, James Robinson, Samuel Calloway, P. S. Dudley, S. F. Joseph, Ira and J. B. Johnson, Fred. Klopf, T. D. Lindsay, Jacob Rossman, F. E. Darling, A. Halverson, Charles Neverman and a few others, nearly all of whom remained, and, engaging in business, made such improvements as were demanded.
In 1870, the buildings and improvements exceeded those of any previous year, the sound of the plane, the hammer saw were constantly heard, and buildings were in on nearly every corner. James Andrew Peterson, A. D. Ballou the Methodist Church was regarded as unfit for occupation and the subject of building a new temple of justice first began to be agitated. The homestead act had its influence to attract settlers to Neillsville and the adjacent country. The following years were also replete with encouraging signs, and the day when the village should be more than a local habitation and name was confidently anticipated in the near future. The new comers for the ensuing five years included George Delane, Edwin Allen, E. Peterson, T. Johnson, E. Tyler, R. Bart, O. P. Wells, C. Crocker, J. Thayer, Mr. Schuster, William Campbell, R. Campbell, A. Brown, Peter Roberts, Mr. Crandall, Charles Detz, William Burgess, George Miller, Carlton and Dixon, George Pruger, J. Brule, James O'Neill, Jr., Thomas Kerns, J. Rineke, the Hoffman brothers, etc., etc.
In 1872, the first brick building erected in the village was that of Hewett & Woods, still standing, which was put up in 1872. This was followed by others, including the Lloyd building, and, today some of the most prominent and architecturally handsome of Neillsville structures are of brick, as for example, the courthouse and schoolhouse, which were built in 1874-5 at a total cost of $50,000; the Presbyterian Church, Catholic Church, in addition to private residences. In 1874, the residence of James Hewett, said to be the finest on Black River, was nearly completed and ready for occupation when it was destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of $12,000. The premises was immediately rebuilt, however, and can now be seen for miles around, and are a landmark to guide the traveler on his journey hither.
The past few years has seemed to intensify the admiration of residents for Neillsville, as also to attract accessions to her citizens. The beauty of its location, the enterprise and liberality of her founders and builders not more than their educational and social prominence; the superiority of its schools and the high state of morals to be found in the village combine to render it a point at which merit will receive encouragement and assistance in identifying itself with the town. A railroad has recently connected the village with points at a distance, and will contribute in years to come, to its advancement, its wealth and its population. It is the largest village in the county, and the county seat. Around it are gathered abundant evidence of material prosperity. The glory of fields, the bounty dairies, the fruit of trees and vines, the sweets of blossoms pay tribute to the beautiful village, and on every side the altars of the fruitful Pau and the bountiful Ceres are redolent with incense most pleasing to the husbandmen, who frequent her markets or make Neillsville a shipping point for their products.
The first school to be opened in the vicinity of Neillsville was commenced about 1856, about eighty rods south of Gates' corners. Here were the children of the village and surrounding country taught the rudiments of learning by John S. Dore, the present County Superintendent of Schools, and others, for several years. When a new schoolhouse was built on a lot immediately south of Fireman's Hall. This did good service until the increase in attendance required an increase of quarters, when the present structure was erected on a lot purchased of James O'Neill. It is of brick, two stories high, handsomely finished and cost $15,000. It is graded, containing six departments, employing a competent force of teachers, and its course of study embraces the branches and subjects taught in the best schools of like grade. The high school department was organized under the State Free High School in law in 1878, though previously operated in its present capacity. The course provides for instruction in the branches adapted to the highest grade, and upon graduation the student is presented as a candidate for that consideration due one practically educated. The average daily attendance during the scholastic year of 1880-1881 was 200, and the amount expended for school purposes in Neillsville during the year ending July 11, 1881 was $3,542. The present Board is made up of F. A. Lee, director; D. Dickenson, treasurer, and Herman Schuster, clerk.
Methodist Episcopal Church, etc.--The first religious services in Neillsville were held during 1847; by the Rev. R. R. Wood, stationed at Black River Falls. For several years thereafter there were no services save at such rare intervals as were furnished by some clerical pilgrim visiting the place. In 1858, Neillsville was made a regular appointment and preaching occurred once in three weeks by the Rev. James Cody of the Alma Circuit. The first Methodist class was organized that year, and in 1860, the Neillsville circuit was created. In 1868-9, by the aid of Friends of the Society, a plain but comfortable church edifice was built, which has since been occupied, though remodeled and improved. The present congregation is stated at 100, under the pastorate of the Rev. Mr. Webster.
Presbyterian Church.--This denomination was represented at an early day by the Rev. Mr. Harris, but the church organization was not perfected until October 27, 1872, when the same was accomplished at a meeting held the courthouse, by a committee of the Presbytery of Chippewa, assisted by the Rev. B. G. Riley, synodical missionary in the courthouse until 1875, when the present brick church edifice was completed at a cost of $3,600 and occupied. The present congregation numbers 71, under the pastorship of the Rev. W. T. Hendren.
St. Luke's Mission.--Was organized Nov. 12, 1877, under the auspices of the Rev. W. H. H. Ross, of Black River Falls with F: A. Lee, warden; Samuel Colway, secretary and Stanley F. Chubb, treasurer. Worship has since been held in the chapel of the school building, but in the summer of 1881, the French lot was purchased for $400; and at a meeting held August 29 ultimo, F. A. Lee, F. F. Chubb, F. D. Lindsay, D. B. R. Dickinson and James O'Neill, Jr., were appointed a committee on building and instructed to commence work at once. Up to 1881, the mission was included in the Wisconsin diocese; since that date it has been a part of the diocese of Fond du Lac. Services are conducted every alternate Sunday, by the Rev. W. H. H. Ross.
Catholic Mission.--Was organized in 1876, at the residence of Richard Hawkes, with fifty members, under the direction of the Reverend Mr. Bergman, stationed at Humbird. In 1877, a church of frame, veneered with brick, was erected at a cost of $3,500, and has since been occupied. The congregation numbers 100 families, and the pastor, the Rev. Father Voltz, officiates once in six weeks.
A German Reformed Church.--Was organized in 1879, with 56 members, by Rev. H. Bruengger, who still serves, preaching once a month in the Methodist Church.
There is also a Lutheran Society in the village, by which services are held monthly in the Methodist Church.
Banking.--The Neillsville Bank is a private institution, organized in August, 1879, by Daniel Gates and J. L. Gates, who conduct the business under the firm name of J. L. Gates & Co. The bank occupies a portion of O'Neill's brick building, and, with sufficient capital for the transaction of business, enjoys a liberal patronage and universal confidence. The business of 1880-81 is quoted at $500,000.
The Clark County Bank was organized under and according to the laws of Wisconsin, August 20, 1875, with a capital of $25,000, for the purpose of transacting a general banking and exchange business. The officers at that time were: Richard Dewhurst, president; J, F. Kirkland, vice-president; John Reed, Daniel Gates, James Hewett, James O'Neill and S. F. Kirkland, directors. The present officers are: Levi Archer, president; James Hewett, vice-president; D. B. Dickinson, cashier; C. Blakeslee, Robert Schofield, M. C ' Ring and L. A. Arnold, directors. The amount of business in 1880 is stated at $250,000.
Neillsville &, Merrillan Railroad.-The construction of a railroad from Neillsville to Merrillan Junction, long contemplated, never took shape until within the past three years. Meetings had been held however, and estimates submitted for the substitution of eans of communication between these points, other than the stage, that ancient and comfortless medium. Early in 1878 the subject was again agitated, and on the 26th of February, of that year, a meeting of the citizens of Clark County was held at Neillsville, at which the Black River Railroad Company was organized, with H. N. Withee, James Hewett, Daniel Gates, F. D, Lindsay, R. J. McBride, J. L. Gates, G. L. Lloyd and F. S. Kirkland, incorporators. At an election immediately following, H. N. Withee was chosen president; James Hewett, vice-president; F. S. Kirkland, secretary; Daniel Gates, treasurer; J. L. Gates, general manager, and R. J. McBride. R. F. Kountz was subsequently appointed to succeed F. S. Kirkland as secretary. The capital stock was limited to $150,000, and the survey of the route was completed at once by 0. H. Hoffman. Soon after ground, was broke, work commenced, and in a short time a major portion of the road bed was graded. At this time the company asked the credit of the town of Pine Valley to the extent of $10,000, to aid in its construction, but the petition was refused by a vote of 3197 to 70, and work was temporarily suspended.
In 1880 Pine Valley reversed its decision, and consented to the issue of $10,000 bonds, to aid in grading, tieing and ironing the route, while Grant, Weston and Hewett townships aided to the extent of $1,000 each, conditioned upon the road being completed by January 1, 1881. In the same year the directory of the Black River road contracted with the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha road to find the right of way, grade and tic it, also to procure depot grounds in Neillsville, provided that corporation ironed the road bed, furnished the running stock, erected the depot buildings and operated the road. In the meantime, the condition stipulated in the bonds issued by Pine Valley, and other townships to aid in building the road having failed of execution, Weston and Grant townships repudiated their bonds, but Pine Valley and Hewett extended the time and renewed their bonds. The Chicago & St. Paul road accepted the contract proffered by the Neillsville company, began work on the unfinished route, and completed the laying of the track, so that the first train of cars made its advent into the county seat of Clark County, July 4, 1881, where it was received with appropriate observances. Trains now run between the present terminal points twice each day, and the convenience afforded, as also the improvements the completion of the road will work, are of priceless value.
The Post-office was first opened in Neillsville during 1856, when it was established at the residence of Nathaniel Clapp, which then occupied the lot now covered by O'Neill's brick building. S. C. Boardman was first Postmaster, and Edward H. Markey the first mail carrier, going tri-weekly to Black River Falls--horseback in Summer, and by " jumper " during the Winter months. Mr. Boardman was succeeded by W. C. Tompkins, and he, in turn, by Charles Carpenter and W. T. Hutchinson, the latter taking charge in 1865, and removing the office to a building now occupied by Spence's restaurant, where he served until 1871, when J. W. Ferguson was appointed and qualified as his successor. He is still the incumbent, and in 1872 removed the office to its present location.
Fire Department.--On the 6th of May, 1874, a disastrous storm swept over Neillsville, entailing serious damage in the village and throughout the adjoining country. During its progress the lightning struck the buildings of Chauncey Blakeslee and W. C. Allen, in the business portion of Neillsville, which were thereby set on fire and narrowly escaped destruction. This warning of what might have been aroused citizens to the fact that the village was without proper facilities to extinguish a conflagration should such a calamity overtake them, and resulted in the convening of a meeting at the Court-house, at which plans were perfected for the organization of the present department. The same Summer a hook and ladder truck was purchased for $550, men en- listed for the service, and R. F. Kountz appointed chief engineer. In March, 1875, a chemical engine was procured at an expense of $750, and, later in the year, the department was duly incorporated by an act of the Legislature. The succeeding Spring the engine-house was built, costing $1,100, and since the happening of these events the department has been one of the most efficient and reliable branches of the village government. The present officers are : R. F. Kountz, chief; J. W. Holmand, foreman; E. L. Koffiijan and H. Ftirgson, assistants ; J. F. Caum, treasurer, and J. H. Thayer, secretary. The value of the department property is quoted at $2,500.
Secret Societies.-Neillsville Lodge, No. 163, A. F. & A. M., was duly organized on the 17th of September. 1866, and for the past fifteen years has progressed in a manner most gratifying to the craft. The charter officers were: B. F. French, W. M.; G. W. King, S. W.; E. H. McIntosh, J. W.; E. H. Bacon, S. D.; J. Furlong, J. D.; R. J. Manly, secretary, and Henry Devit, treasurer. The present officers are : S. C. Boardman, W. M.; J. H. Thayer, S. W. ; S. B. Colway, J. W.; S. Coggins, S. D.; John Rade, J. D.; E. H. Bacon, treasurer; H. Shuster, secretary, and T V. Carlton, Tyler. The present membership is fifty-five, and meetings are held on. the first and third Thursday evenings of each month.
Neillsville Lodge, No. 178, I. O. G. T., was organized April 23, x88o, with twenty-two Members and the following officers - J. B. Jones, W. C. T. ; Mrs.. Reitz, W. V. T. ; C. C. Swartz, chaplain; S. F. Chubb and H. W. Deming, secretaries; Augusta Marshall, treasurer; N. E. Gallagher, W. M.; M. Fuller, W. D. M.; H. Poate, -sentinel. Since that date the society has held regular weekly meetings, resulting in a continuous, though not uniform, membership. The present officers are-- L. Sturdevant, W. C. T. ; Mrs. A. J. Deming, W. V. T.; Nettie Lynch, chaplain ;- Nora Tripp, secretary; Viola French, treasurer; N. F,. Gallagher, W. M.; Orpha Fowler, W. D. M.; J. B. Jones, P. W. C. T.; H. W. Deming, sentinel-. T-he present membership is 101.
Fritz Reuter Lodge, No. 36, O. D. E. S.-A German society, with humanitarian objects, was organized by Jacob Rossman, August 6, 1878, with seventeen members. The officers were: Jacob Rossman, president; George Runnger and Robert Schwarsey, vice-presidents; F. W. Ketel, secretary, and James Lemegan, treasurer. The present officers are: Herrnan Ketel, president; Ernst Arnstelerdoold and Henry Neverman, trustees; William Ketel, secretary and treasurer. The society now has thirteen members.
Pine Valley Encampment, No. 44, I. O. O. F., was first organized at Staffordsville, January 18,.1871, with A. K. Stafford, A. J. Brees, A. W. Clark, John Hoyt, H. D. Eyerle, Robert Scofield, E. J. Rice and L. A. Stafford as charter members. In x8- the encampment was removed to Neillsville, where it jointly occupies Odd Fellows Hall with the Neillsville Lodge. The present officers are: Andrew Peterson, C. P.; Ira B. Jones, H. P.; M. W. Parker,-S. W.; H. Fuller, J. W.; J. H. Thayer, scribe, and L. L. Ayers, treasurer. The encampment meets semi-montly evenings.
Neillsville Lodge, No. 198, I. O. O. F., Was organized December 7, 1871, with R. C. Elliott, J. A. Kimball, J. B. Jones, A. L. Wood, H. Parker, A. R. Moffit, and C. H. Sprague as charter members. The present officers are: J. H. Thayer, N. G.; E. B. Philpot, V. G.; C. B. Arnold secretary, and John B. Jones, treasurer. Meetings are convened weekly, on Saturday nights, and the Kraft property in Neillsville representing a valuation of $3,000.
Diamond Lodge, No. 64, Daughters of Rebecca, was chartered July 13, 1880, with upward of twenty members and the following officers: Ira B. Jones, N. G.; Mrs. M. W. Burgess, permanent secretary, Mrs. S. F. Joseph, treasurer. The present officers are: Mrs. J. H. Thayer, N. G.; J. F. King, V. G.; Mrs. E. A. Pierce, secretary; Mrs. T. B. Philpot, permanent secretary, and Mrs. W. H. Burgess, treasurer. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesday evenings of each month in Odd Fellows Hall.
Black River Lodge, No. 32, A. O. U. W. was organized in May, 1878, with nineteen members and the following officers: F. A. Lee, P. M. W.; Dr. G. J. Lacey, N. W.; William Campbell, foreman; J. R. Sturdevant, guide; J. A. Parkhurst, recorder; G. A. Grunds, financier. The present officers are: James A. Parkhurst, M. W.; William Campbell, foreman; George A. Ludington, overseer; J. W. Talford, recorder; H. Schuster, receiver; W. J. Klopf, fancier, and O. G. Tripp, guide. Meetings are held weekly, on Friday evening, and Lodge property is valued at $500.
Neillsville Flour Mills, on O'Neill's Creek, northeast of the O'Neill House, were erected by Chauncey Blakeslee, in the Fall of 1862. The buildings are of frame, and when completed the two run of stone, with which a total of fifty barrels of flour could be ground in twenty-four hours were run by water power. The original cost $6,000. In 1867, additions were made to an engine was substituted for water power, and other improvements were made. Again, in 1870 expended for similar objects, including , of the mill premises, an engine was substituted for water power and other improvements were made. Again, in 1870, were sums for similar objects, including an additional run of stone. At present four hands are employed at a total weekly compensation of $35. Seventy-five barrels of flour are ground in twenty-four hours, and the annual business is quoted at $15,000.
Neillsville Brewery was established by William Neverman, in 1869, at which time he erected the present improvements at a cost of $2,000. Since that date, he has made additions and improvements, the expense of which have been $4,000. He employs two hands; manufactures 500 barrels of beer per year, and does a business of $4,000 annually.
G. Sterns' Stair Factory, located the Black River Road, north of the village, was first established as a planning mill by the gentleman whose name has been perpetuated as proprietor of the present enterprise, in 1869. In 1878, Mr. Sterns made a change in his line of business, introduced machinery, and other improvements, at a cost of $12,000, and began the manufacture of his present marketable commodity. He employs seven hands, at a weekly compensation of $65, and does an annual business estimated at $10,000.
A. S. Leason Pump Factory, situated north of the city, on the road to Black River Falls, is of recent birth, having been established in the Fall of 1880, when Leason erected the premises now occupied. His manufacture embraces all sizes and styles of wooden pumps, special reference being had to a pattern of which he is the patentee. When running to its full capacity the works turn out 1,000 pumps, and do a business of $10,000 per annum. Six hands are employed, and, with other expenses, require an outlay of $250 per month.
Neillsville Foundry and Machine Shop, north of the village add across O'Neill's Creek, were opened for June 1, 1881, by Korman & Tuplin. When running to its full capacity, five hands are employed, at a weekly compensation of $70. The shop turns out plows, saws, and general run of farming implements, the sale of which, it is believed, will produce an income for the current year (1881) of not less than $6,000.
L. W. Gallaher, Planing Mill, established in 187l, on the present site, where business was continued until March 10, 1879 (a sawmill having been added to the capacity of the 1877), when the premises were destroyed fire, entailing a loss of $4,000. Mr. Gallaher immediately rebuilt, and has since been constantly employed. His line of manufacture embraces rough and planed lumber, doors, blinds, sash, mouldings, etc., requiring, when running full, the services of ten men, at a total weekly compensation of $100, and doing a business $15,000 per annum.
Neillsville Library Association was organized September 23, 1879, by the election, by the election of H. W. Deming, president, Ira B. Jones, treasurer, and L. B. Ring, librarian and secretary, with H. N. Withee, C. Blakeslee and Mrs. A. White, trustees, all of whom have since been continued in office.
The society now have 250 volumes, and meetings are held at stated periods, in the editorial rooms of the True Republican.
Neillsville Telegraph Company. In 1871, D. W. Tolford and Alexander Lynn erected a telegraph line from Neillsville to Humbird, and operated the same until the fall of 1874, when it was sold out under foreclosure proceedings, James O'Neill becoming the purchaser. Thereupon, the present corporation was organized, with Jones Thompkins, president, George Austin, secretary, and James O'Neill, treasurer, who still serve. The capital stock was place at $4,000. The route was changed from Humbird to Hatfield, at a cost Of $875, since when the line has been operated between the latter point and Neillsville.
The Sherman Guards.--May 1, 1875, the Clark County Zouaves, a military organization, was incorporated in Neillsville with J. W. Tolford, as captain, and thirty privates. In Feb. 1878, the company was reorganized, the name changed to the "Sherman Guards," and, as such, became part of the 3rd Battalion Wisconsin State Militia. The present officers are: J. W. Ferguson, captain; George A. Ludington and Samuel Dixon, lieutenants; George K. Redmond, William Poute, Henry Fuller, George W. Trogler, Louis Schuster and Warren Suthard, sergeants; William Kettle, Robert McAdams, Andrew Londgren, Joseph Rowe, F. Burgess, Conrad Frantz, Frederick Johnson and Henry Poute, corporals. The file embraces sixty soldiers, and meetings are held weekly for drill.
PINE VALLEY CEMETERY
The first cemetery in the village of Neillsville was located on a plat of ground now owned by James Hewett, about thirty rods southeast of the courthouse. In 1871, the township of Pine Valley purchased four acres of ground, one mile distant from the village, in a northeasterly direction, and in the following year caused the same to be platted, James H. Reddan being the surveyor. The cemetery contains a total of 618 lots, is handsomely planted with trees and shrubbery, and many handsome monuments dot the landscape, adding beauty to the surroundings. The grounds and disposal of lots are under the control of the Board of Supervisors.
LEVI ARCHER, farmer, See. 34, P.O. Neillsville, born in Orleans Co., N.Y., Aug. 19, 1835, with his parents, went to Indiana in 1842, where he ran a sawmill, learned the blacksmith's trade of Zekiel Johnson, came to the Black River and engaged in the lumber business, and, in 1874, moved on his farm, containing 270 acres, 120 of it cleared and under cultivation. In 1853, he married Miss Rossissa Straight, of Jackson County. They have one, child, a son, twelve years of age, named Frank. Mr. Archer is now the president of Clark County Bank.
GEORGE A. AUSTIN, farmer, Sec. 18. P.O. Neillsville, born in Otsego Co., N.Y., March 13, 1829. His parents moved to Chenango Co., N.Y., where they farmed, which was their occupation when they moved to Wisconsin. in 1843. In 1849, George A. was on the Illinois & Michigan Canal; taught school in 1850-51; read law with Church & Willard, of Woodstock, Ill., and was admitted to the Bar in 1853; he practiced till the war broke out, and enlisted in Co. A, 15th Ill. V. I., was promoted to 2d lieutenant, and, after serving his time, re-enlisted, and was commissioned 1st lieutenant ; soon afterward became quarter-master, and was taken prisoner on March 1, 1864, taken to Andersonville, Macon, Milan, and was exchanged at Wilmington, N. C. Having enlisted for the war, they were sent out on the frontier ; but October 1, 1865, they were ordered back, and lie was discharged in Springfield, Illinois. He was a dealer in stock until he came to Neillsville, and bought a grist and saw mill, of Blakeslee, in 1871; in 1874, leased the saw-mill, and in 1878, moved to his farm where he resides with his family; married, in 1853, to Miss M. N. Kimball, of Woodstock. They have three children-Charles E., Mary E., now Mrs. J. Thayer, and Ida M., now Mrs. Ring. Mr. Austin has held town offices, and belongs to the Masons and the A. O. U. W.
ORSON BACON, farmer, P.O. Neillsville, born in Jericho, Chittenden Co., Vt., July 8, 1810. During his youth he was reared on the ancestral farm, with his father worked in the shop as carpenter and joiner. They moved from their native county in 1826, came to St. Lawrence Co., N.Y.; from there he went to Ohio, and then to Hillsdale, Mich., where they worked a farm together, and here his father died. He remained there until 1855, when he started for Wisconsin and bought the land on which he now lives, now part of the village of Neillsville. In z835, he married Miss Euretta R. Hastings, of New York. They have six children living, and three dead-Everet H., Charles G., who died in Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis. Mo.; was a member of Co. 1, 14th Wis. V.; was wounded at Shiloh; Charlotte, deceased ; Mary, now Mrs. C. O. Sturgeon; S. Willard, Abbie L., deceased; and twins, Ella Vesta and Allie Vesta. Allie died when two years old. Mr. Bacon has held the offices of County Supervisor and Treasurer.
CHAUNCEY BLAKESLEE, merchant, Neillsville, born in New York, April 3, 1822, in 1840 moved to Tioga Co., Penn. In 1845, he went to Baltimore; went to Potter County in 1848, where he engaged in the lumber business; removed to Bradford County in 1850, and entered the mercantile life, which he carried on till 1854, then leaving for McHenry Co., Ill., going to the Black River in 1855; kept a store on what is known as the old Barber place. In 1856, came to Neillsville, and opened the first store here; moved into the store now occupied by Gates & Co.; in 1865, built a store, now occupied by, Cole & Co. The firm's name was Hewett, Wood & Co., till 186o, when he run the store in his own name till 1871; sold to his old partners and moved to Mon- roe County and kept store, but finally traded his store for a mill in Jackson County, where he stayed till 1878, when he came back and bought the mill which he, together with Hewett and Wood, built in 1865. This he now runs in connection with his store in Neillsville and a saw-mill eleven miles east of here. In 1859, married Miss Maria Boardman, of Neillsville. They have five children-George, Frank, Oscar, Minnie and Cora. Mr. Blakeslee has been County Treasurer, Supervisor, justice of the Peace, as well as other smaller offices.
S. C. BOARDMAN, retired, Neillsville, born in Yates Co., N. Y., July 10, 1849, on coming West, went to farming in Columbia County; 1853, came to Neillsville. At O'Neill's old tavern, met there some of the men of those times, such as James Sturgeon, James Burke and George Hill. He was engaged in the woods for the first few years, and then went into the land business, having taken a Government survey with E. Seers previous to this time. He went to surveying, and carried it on until 1868; in 1876, entered the mercantile business; retired and took a trip to Colorado. In 1862, married Miss Diantha Street, of Allegany Co., N.Y. They have two children, Frankie E. and S. Clair. He belongs to the Masonic Lodge, A. F. & A. M. and the A. O. U. W.
EMERY BRULEY, merchant, Neillsville, born in Ottawa City, Canada, July 4, 1845, in 1868, went to Minneapolis, Minn., and afterwards to La Crosse, where he met Mr. Stafford and came up with him to Staffordsville, in 1868; came to Neillsville and started a blacksmith shop, which he run for nine years, then opened a clothing store, and now carries a stock of $9,000, and does a business of $25,600 a year. In September, 1864, married Miss Philomena Beauchamp, of Ottawa City. He belongs to the A. O. U. W.
C. E. BUSSELL, surveyor and real estate, Neillsville. Born in Franklin Co.. Maine, Dec. 11, 1850. He attended. Holton Seminary in 1871, and learned engineering; came to Neillsville, May xi, 1874, and was elected County Surveyor, which office he held from 1875 to 1879. He is now examiner of lands, and has issued a fine map of Clark County; was employed in getting up the map of LaCrosse, and is now making preparations for mapping all the northern part of the State of Wisconsin.
WILLIAM CAMPBELL, merchant, dealer in boots and shoes. Born in Ayrshire, Scotland, April 20, 1847. Came to Columbia CO., Wis., with his father and grand-parents. In 1866, he graduated at the high school in Poynett; attended the Spenserian College of Milwaukee in 1867-68, and came here, to Neillsville, where he has engaged in keeping books for different firms, and was one of the firm of Cole & Campbell in 1876; in 1879, sold to Cole; opened the present store in November; is doing a business, from$10,000 to $12,000 per year. Inig6g,married Miss Myra Youmans of New York. They have three children-Jessie, May and Neill. Mr. Campbell has been elder in the Presbyterian Church for eight years, and was a delegate to the general assembly in 1877, in Chicago. He belongs to the A. O. U. W., and the Temple of Honor.
J. F. CANON, Clerk of Clark County, Neillsville. Born in New York, March 6, 1843; in 1849, came to Walworth Co., Wis.; in z852, returned to their old home, where his father died. The family of mother, six boys and one girl, moved to Waushara Co. Wis., Oct. 14, 1871, and in town of Plainfield he learned the trade of blacksmithing. He built two shops; moved in 1869, to Exira, Audubon Co., Iowa, put up a shop, but on account of his brother J. D.'s health, returned. His brother died Sept. 14, 1870. Mr. C. then came to Neillsville, Oct. 14, 1871, and went to work at his trade; in the Winter of 1872, kept a logging-camp with his brother; in the Winter of 1873-74, he was foreman in the camp; farmed his place in the Summer. In July, 1874, kept books for George L. Lloyd; was elected County Clerk, Jan. 1, 1875, and now holds it. In April 5, 1867, married Miss Kate C. Rozell of Wash River County. They have five children- Jimmie, Henry, Libbie, Nellie and Frankie. He has also held the position of Chairman of the Town Board of Supervisors.
F. G. CAWLEY, farmer, See. 23, P.O., Neillsville. Born in Haverill, N. H., July 18, 1835. Up to the age of nineteen, he was employed at farming, in the factories, but it had been his desire to come west. In 1854, he came to Clark County, and went to farming, and in r88o, bought his present residence. In 1855, March 26, married Mrs. Annie Thomson of Clark County, who had come to this county, as early as 1851, and settled on See. 23, where she still holds the forty acres, entered in her maiden name " Annie Clark," by Mr. O'Neill. They have five children living, and two deceased- Jane E., deceased, was Mrs. J. D.. Rich of Hag Harbor, died in 1881, 17th May; Sarah E. now Mrs. Edward Keand, F,. Walter, Emily L., Willie died 27th June, 186o, Annie A., born in 1857, July 1, Samuel G., born July 4, 1872. Mr. C. has served as Constable, for twenty-two years.
S. F. CHUBB, general manager for James Hewett, Neillsville. Born in Forday-Bridge, Hampshire, England, Oct. 12, 1853. When old enough to work, began by being errand boy; he then branched off into sail making, when about twelve years of age, also served in the grocery business, with a Frenchman by the name of Cabot. His father's health failing, he returned to Brighton and managed the grocery for him. In 1874, he crossed the Atlantic, and landed in New York, and in company with two companions, visited Niagara, Cleveland, and his Uncle William Philpott, of Dodge Co., Wis. He then came here and entered the employ of Wells Bros., and drove mail stage, from Lloyd to Neillsville, till 1875, when he entered the employ of Hewett & Wood, as junior clerk, and in 1878 took charge of the business. In December, 1878, he married Miss Mary L. Phillips, adopted daughter of James Hewett. They have one child, Vivian J., aged fourteen months. Mr. C. belongs to I. O. O. F., also the encampment A. O. U. W., and Independent Order of Foresters. He is treasurer for the Episcopal Church, of which he is a member.
A. W. CLARK, farmer, Section 26, P. 0. Neillsville. Born in Boston, Mass, June 22, 1830; went with his parents to Dubuque, Iowa, and then to Grant Co., Wis., in 1843, and opened a tin and hardware shop. Before coming to Clark County in 1857, he paid a visit to California; then he located on this farm which is part of the old estate owned by his brother, who bad come to Clark County in 1843, then part of Crawford County, and thinks this county was named for him. Mr. C. had some 400 Or 500 acres of the estate and has built a saw-mill, called Clark's Mill, and has farmed and lumbered up to the present time. In 1852, he married Miss Mary A. Vineyard, of Quincy, Illinois. At the time Of her birth, in 1832, her mother was living in the midst of Indians and during the Indian War was removed to Quincy. They have four children - Edith 1. (now Mrs. R. J. Sawyer), G. H., A. P. and M. W. Mr. Clark is one of the lodge of I.O.O.F.
W. C. CRANDALL, druggist, Neillsville. Born at Port Deposit, Cecil Co., Md., Nov. 1, 1838. He went to Maine July 4, 1863. In 1864, came to Black River Falls; clerked in W. B. Porter until 1867 ; formed a partnership with P. Howell and at the end of 1868 dissolved. Began studying medicine with W. B. Cole. A Medical College at Chicago. Came to Neillsville and good practice, but gave his practice to W. B. Morley and now carries on the drug store. He married Miss Almira T. Brown, of : April, 1868. They have three children-Gladdys M., Ger Bessie. They have lost an infant child.
HON. R. DEWHURST, lumberman, Neillsville. Born near Manchester, Lancaster Co., England, May 12, 1826. In 1827, came to America and the family settled in Bristol Co., Mass., and remained until 1833; removed: to Loraine Co., Ohio when twenty years of age, commenced studying law under P. Bliss. In 1850, he left for Jo Davies, Illinois, and worked in the lead mines. In 1850-51, taught a private school in Scales Mound, going then to Potosi, Grant Co., Wis. ; went into the lead mines, was taken sick, and went home; took up again, he then went to teaching school, in 1854, near Platteville, Wisconsin, finding time to visit Kansas during the troubles existing at that time but came back to White Oak Springs in 1856, and was admitted to the bar. Came to Clark County May 1, 1856, and located at Weston's Rapids. In 1858, was elected to the Assembly; held the office of Register of Deeds in 1859. In 1864, he was elected again to the Legislature, and served the session of 1865. He had held the position of County Judge in 1856, and was elected again in 1877, he served until 1879, then resigned. 1875, he was the representative in the Assembly from this district, and County Superintendent of Schools, filling the vacancy occasioned by Mr. Johnson's moving from the State. Filled vacancy occasioned by the death of William Hutchinson, as County Treasurer. He has served the public in most of the town offices. In March 29, 1859 Married Miss Marsha S. Curtiss, of Madison. They have one child, Mary, born Jan. 3, 1863. Mr. Dewhurst, in company with Daniel Gates, in 1874, visited Oregon, Washington and California, and 1876, together with John Reed, visited England, Scotland, Ireland and the French Exposition.
D. DICKINSON, merchant, Neillsville. Born in Tioga Co., PA, NOV. 20, 1836. In 1855, came to Madison, Wis. In in 1858, he started for Port Royal, but the war breaking out he turned back to Lock Haven. In 1861, enlisted in the 45th Pa. Vol., served till the close. On being mustered out he returned home to Wellsboro, Pa., and in 1866 came to Sparta, Wis., then came to Neillsville and clerked for Hewett, Wood & Co. He then entered into partnership with McBride for one year, since this time he has been alone in the business, in 1876 moving into his present store on East street. Married in 1874, to Miss Kate E. Curtiss, of Neillsville. They have three children -Carrie, Grace and Albert Willis.
D. B. R. DICKINSON, cashier Clark County Bank, Neillsville. Born in Wellsboro, Tioga Co., Pa., May 2, 1843. In 1861, came to New York, clerked for J. A. Parson & Co.; went into the banking house of Souther, Willis & Souther, here he staid until 1870; moved to Phelps County, took position as buyer for the Iron Works of Maramac. In 1874, came to Sparta and went in with Geo. Dunn. In 1875, October, he came here, and entered Clark County Bank Feb. 1, 1879. He married Miss Agnes Goodwin, of Sparta, in 1866.
HON. L. A. DOOLITTLE, judge of Clark County Court, Neillsville. Born in St Lawrence Co., N. Y., July 22, 1853. When 18 years of age began the study of law, and at the age of 22 graduated. Taught school at different times to obtain means with which to carry on his studies. In 1878, he entered the Law Dept. of Madison University and graduated in 1879, which admitted him to all the courts of the State. Coming to Neillsville, he bad been here practicing but five months, when he was appointed County judge to fill vacancy occasioned by resignation of judge Richard Dewhurst in Dec., 1879, the term expires Jan. 1, 1882. Mr. Doolittle Married, May 4, 1880, to Miss Bessie A. Weeks, of Rutland, Vermont.
P. S. DUDLEY, merchant, dealer in harness, trunks, etc., Neillsville. Born in Orleans Co., N. Y., Oct. 18, 1839. In 1857, came to Walworth County. In 1858, he and his father went into the harness business, but also carried on the trade in Dane County in 1862. Opened the first harness shop in Neillsville Nov. 3, 1869. In 1861, married Miss Maria McArthur, of Woodstock, of the Province of New Brunswick. They have four children-Bertha A., born July 4, 1864, Ellis C., Nov. 22, 1865, Mabel C., June 17, 1867, Arthur E., March 28, 1869, one infant died when seven weeks of age. He has held several public offices and belongs to the I. O. O. F.
HON. B. F. FRENCH, attorney, Neillsville, Chautauqua Co., N. Y., Aug. 10, 1832. In 1839, moved to Warren Co., PA, remaining there until 1844; went to Jefferson Co., IA, farmed it with his father for a time. In 1849, started for the Black River and made a claim, which he now holds. Built a log house. In 1854-5, studied law with his brother, J. F., and was admitted to the bar in 1856, in the Sixth District Circuit Court, by judge George Gale. In November, 1854, he was elected Treasurer of Clark County, being the first one. Elected District Attorney in 1856, serving in that office until 1866. Has been a member of the Board of Supervisors. In 1873, was candidate for the Assembly, was defeated by a small majority. Was the first master of the Masonic order in Clark County. Was married to Miss Elizabeth R. Brown, of Black River Falls, June 8, 1854. They have six children-Nettie, Elva N., Viola M., Dimple T., Edwin and John R.
J. W. FERGUSON, Postmaster, Neillsville. Born in Erie Co., Pa., Aug. 16, 1846. In April, 1854, came to Neillsville with his uncle, S. F. Ferguson and when the war broke out enlisted in the 14th Wis. Vol. Was mustered out Oct. 9, 1865, returned home, and in 1867 worked at the tinner's trade, until he was appointed Postmaster in 1871. Mr. Ferguson married Miss Amelia Palmer, of Neillsville. They have two children, Clara and Edward J.
JAMES FURLONG, merchant and grocer, Neillsville, was born in Lehigh Co., Penn., Oct. 9, 1827. At an early age, moved into Armstrong county, where he learned the trade of carpenter and joiner with a Mr. McNutt, and came to Neillsville in 1856, where he stopped with Mr. O'Neill till he built a house and shop and took his brother Edward into partnership with him. In 1864, he opened a cabinet store in the building he now occupies. In 1877, sold out to Peter Johnson, and retired: October, 1880, started the store he now has. Was married, in 1849 to Miss Mary Diebler, of Westmoreland Co., Penn. They have one child, Amanda-lost three. He has held public offices.
L. W. GALLAHER, manufacturer, Neillsville, was born in Litchfield, Ct., April 19, 1831. Went to Litchfield, Medina Co., Ohio, in 1838. In 1846 went to Wayne County. In 1856, went to Indiana. Was engaged different occupations at this time, and in 1868 moved to Black River Falls, where he was employed as pattern maker, coming to Clark County in 1871, where he put up a mill and sash and door factory, which was burned down in 1879. He immediately built again, and now is running the saw and planing department. In August, 1857, he married Miss A. M. Baker, of Warsaw, Ind. They have a family of seven children-Nelson E., Elmer W., Carrie P., Charlie Sumner, Early L., Owen V. and Reuben H. He belongs to the I. O. O. F., and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
DANIEL GATES, banker, Neillsville, was born in Essex Co., N. Y., July 11, 1818. In 1856, went to Fairfield, Jefferson Co., Iowa. Remained but a short time, moved to Wedge's Creek, Clark Co., Wis. and opened a hotel. In 1861, moved into a private residence. Engaged in logging in the winter and farming in the Summer. In 1869, formed a partnership with Joel Head, in the grocery business. In 1876, Mr. Head died, and his wife still remained. In October, Mr. G. started a meat-market, and took his son in as a partner. In 1878, bought Mrs. Head out, and took his son, J. L., in the provision business. In 1879, established the Neillsville Bank. Was married, in 1848, to Miss Jane Hewitt, of New York. They have three children. Mr. G. has held a number of public to the satisfaction of all.
J. L. GATES, banker, Neillsville, was born in Essex Co., N. Y., Dec. 22, 1850. He came west with his parents, who located about six miles south of Neillsville in 1856. They moved to this place in 1861. He then went to commercial school, and commenced business in 1871. In 1872, he had accumulated enough to build. Seeing an opportunity to make money, he went into real estate and brokerage. In 1876, added a provision store to his business, and realized large returns, as high as $60,00 in the Winter of 1880. This store he sold to F. D. Lindsay, Mar. 1881, and now runs the bank of J. L. Gates & Co., established in 1879. Married Miss Liddia E. Eyerly, of Neillsville, Wis. They have two children-Robert L., six years of age, and Edith Temperance, aged four.
ANSEN GREEN, farmer, See. 26, P. O. Neillsville, was born in Middleton, Delaware Co., N. Y., Dec. 22, 1817. Came right from his native county to Clark County in 1854, taking an active part with the early settlers in organizing these parts. Has always been interested more or less in lumbering, also in hotels; kept one in 1856 in which he cleared $885 in six months. He then kept the Neillsville Hotel, which he sold to Hubbard. Then bought this farm of 166 acres, on which he now lives, in 1864. Is now engaged in farming and lumbering. In 1842, he married Miss Mary Dean, of New York. They had seven children, three now living-Sallie M., Wilber, Nettie, Levi, De Willet, deceased-Anson and Nora. Mr. G. has held town office, is now on the board of supervisors, and belongs to the I. O. O. F.
G. J. HART bookkeeper for James Hewett, Neillsville, was born in Canton, St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., Nov. 1, 1844. Lived there and was following business of building mover in Jefferson County. In 1859, he attended the St. Lawrence University, and in 1862, visited the west, went back. In 1871, immigrated to the State of Wisconsin, going to La Fayette Co., and then came up to this place with a team of horses to sell, but not being able to get a fair price, went to work with them in the pineries. He then went to clerking for J. H. Marshall, in the hardware business. In 1877, was appointed Deputy Treasurer of Clark Co. In 1880, gave his attention to telegraphy, being employed since 1881 with James Hewett. In 1875, married Miss Mira Caswell, of Jefferson Co., N. Y.
MRS. ELMIRA HEAD, Neillsville, widow of Joel Head, one of the early settlers of this place, and identified with its business interests. Mr. Head was a miller by trade, and run C. Blakeslee's mill after he came to Neillsville. Afterward going into the hotel business, he kept the Hubbard House, and then went into the meat-market on shares with D. Gates. Then carried on a provision store in connection with the meat- market. Was doing a very fine trade at the time of his death (Dec. 2, 1875). Mrs. Head (nee Almira Payne) was born in New York, May 18, 1838, and married Mr. Joel Head, Aug. 26, 1856. They had three children-Rosa N., Laura A. (now Mrs. Thomas Morris) and a son, N. V. Mrs. Read has retired from active business, and lives on the estate.
Mr. JAMES HEWETT, merchant, Neillsville. Born in New York, Essex County, May 1, 1830. Was engaged in lumbering there up to 1856; came to Neillsville, where he has carried on the same business up to the present time. In 1859, he went into the mercantile line with the firm name of Hewett, Wood & Co., which continued to be the firm name till Mr. Wood's death, which occurred in 1879 he running the business in his own hands since. He also has a sawmill on Wedges Creek. His stock of merchandise amounts to $10,000, and he has done a business of $100,000 a year. Married Miss Henrietta Brown, of Maine, Oct. 17, 1864 They had three children, one living-Sherman F., born Sept. 4, 1865. Two deceased, Chauncy B., born Feb. 14, 1867, died April 20, 1869, and an infant. His wife died in April, 1869. May, 1874, married Emeline Niles. Has served the public in numerous official positions, and continues to do so. He has been before the people for the Assembly, but was defeated.
PETER JOHNSON, merchant and dealer in furniture, Neillsville. Born in Denmark, Sept. 9, 1849. In 1871, came to America, went to North Adams, Mass.; in 1872 commenced working at Holbrook's saw- mill at the foot of the Green Mountains, going to Troy, N. Y., in 1874; there learned the cabinet business; then traveled to Tennessee, and on to Chicago, then into Iowa. Finally striking Black River Falls, where he stayed until 1877; came to Neillsville, bought out James Furlong, and commenced doing business. Was married in 1876 to Miss Mary Postweler, of Black River Falls. They have two children, Annie and Clara. He belongs to the Lodge of the I. O. O. F.
IRA B. JONES, prescription clerk in W. C. Crandall's drug store, Neillsville. Born in Orleans County, N. Y, July 19, 1849. He commenced the drug business with Dr. E. D. Hall in Knowlesville, Orleans Co., N. Y. With his brother, Thomas P., he spent the years of 1868 to 1871 in Canada as U. S. Consul, going thence to Rochester, N. Y. In the Spring of 1872, he married Miss Julia A. Hoyt. They have two children, Gracie May, and Bessie Floy. Mr. Jones belongs to the I. O. O. F. He is a representative to the Right Worthy Grand Lodge that meets on the 7th of June, 1881, in Milwaukee.
J. B. JONES, book-keeper, with C. Blakeslee, Neillsville. Born in Lewis Co., N. Y., Dec. 19, 1837. He went into the neighboring county of Orleans, where he remained till 1857, and worked on the farm. In 1857, visited Washington Co., Wis., but returned to New York, where he stayed till the Fall of 1860. Came to Wisconsin; in 1861, enlisted in the 12th Wis. Vols., and was mustered out as second lieutenant in 1865; he returned to Orleans County, was appointed U. S. Consul to the city of Hamilton, Canada. In 1867, he came to Wisconsin again, and in 1868 arrived in Neillsville and went to farming for a short time, then to keeping books for O. P. Wells & Co., soon after for Hewett & Wood, and in 188o took his present position. In 1864 married Miss Lovilla White, of Marion, Wayne Co., N. Y. They have three children: Vinnie I., Thomas E. and J. Earl. Was elected Treasurer in 1879, on the Temperance ticket, is serving in this capacity now. Was Assessor in 1869, and 1872, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. He was the first Noble Grand of the Odd Fellows' Lodge of this place.
SOLOMON F. JOSEPHS, confectioner, Neillsville. Born in Niagara Co., N. Y., July 23, 1848. In 1857, went to Columbia Co., Wis. In 1871, went to Benton, Minn. In 1872, went to Poynett, Wis., where he learned the harness trade, and coming to Clark County in 1873, opened a harness shop, which he ran until 1877, then opened up in the same line he now has. He then built the store now occupied by H. J. Youmans; in 188o he sold this store to the firm of Ring & Youmans, and on the eighth of November, opened his present place of business. Jan. 15, 1873, married Miss Nellie E. Dole, of Columbia County. They have two children, Florence E., aged eight years, and Lynn Dole, aged three months. Mr. Joseph belongs to the following lodges: N. G. of I. O. O. F.; Sec. of Royal Arcanum, and H. C. R. of Forresters. He is the State representative to the meeting of the Supreme Court of the World in New York, June, 1881.
F. A. LEE, Town Clerk, Neillsville. Born in Sheffield, England, April 12, 1828. Came to America with his parents in 1843; they stopped in Waukesha Co., Wis., and went to farming. In 1848, went to clerking. Learned the trade of cigar maker in Chicago, went to Janesville to work at the trade. At Sparta opened up in the mercantile and stationery line, soon after he kept nothing but dry goods. Disposing of his business he came up to Neillsville in ig6g; clerk in Hewett & Blakeslee's, but concluded to set himself up in a general merchandise store. Closed out and is now giving his attention to his offices, being justice of the Peace as well as Town Clerk, which office he has held for the fourth term. In 1853 he married Miss L. E. Chapterson of Philadelphia, Pa, They have seven children-Allie, Kate (now Mrs. David Payne), Frederick, Charles, Jessie, Herbert and Mattie. Mr. Lee has been warden in the Episcopal Church for the last three years.
HON. F. D. LINDSAY, merchant, Neillsville. Born in Essex Co., N. Y, Feb. 17, 1837. He remained in his native county until 1862, engaged in farming, and when the war broke out he enlisted, 1862, in the 118th N.Y. Vol., and served till 1865. When mustered out ranked sergeant. Went home then to Davenport, Iowa, and came to Clark County, Jan. 1, 1866. Went to work by the month lumbering and farming; kept at that business since, doing about $50,000 per year. In 1880, bought provision store of J. L. Gates, which is connected with his lumbering interests. In 1872, married Miss Clara Hubble, of Neillsville. They have two children, Bessie, six years of age in October, Josie two years December, and one deceased, named Lulu. In 1871-72, be served the county as Sheriff; 1876-77, was elected to the Assembly from Wood, Clark, Lincoln and Taylor counties; was Chairman of the Town Board for 1878-79-80.
GEORGE L. LLOYD, merchant, Neillsville. Born in Willoughby, Lake Co., Ohio. Aug. 9, 184o. When he was nineteen years of age he went to Colorado, returning the same year. Locate& in Neillsville in the year 1859, being engaged in the lumber business. Worked for Wells & GO. up to 1873. Set up big own business. Now has a stock on hand of about $10,000, and his proceeds for the year is about $50,000. He married Miss Dora Marshall, of Hingham, Sheboygan Co., Wis., in 1873. They have two children, Glynn and Clyde.
GEORGE A. LUDINGTON, dealer in harness, trunks, collars, etc., Neillsville, Born in Circleville, Pickaway Co., Ohio, Oct. 5, 1842. He came to Illinois in 1857. When the war broke out enlisted in Co. H, 3oth Ohio Vol., served out his time and re-enlisted in Alabama and was mustered out in 1865, attending school in Indiana that Winter. -He picked up the carpenter trade at Warsaw, Illinois. Oct. 25, iS66, he worked in the woods on Black River. Learned the trade of harness making with J. Elliott, A. L. Cuber and P. S. Dudley. In 1877, bought out S. F. Josephs. In 1869, married Miss Mary E. Teller, of Black River Falls. They have four children-Albert C., Eunice, Carrie and Mary Teller. Belongs to the I. O. O. F.., of which he is P. G.; to the Royal Arcanum, and the I. O. R., of which he was the first P. C. R. in the Neillsville Lodge. The Guards, a militia organized 1875, as Zouaves, and reorganized in 1878 as the Sherman Guards. have him for their second lieutenant.
JAMES LYNCH, retired, Neillsville. Born in Allegheny Co., Pa., March 6, 1807. He first went to Armstrong County in the year 1828, and was engaged with his father on a farm till 1856; came to Neillsville the same year and locating on the same lot that his present dwelling now occupies. He once owned a farm of more than two quarter sections, having lately sold it. In 1835, he married Miss Margaret Kirkland of Cumberland Co., Pa. They had eleven children, seven now living-John H., Mary Ann, deceased, Alice A. (now Mrs, F Salina (now Mrs. Sturgeon), Mellissa J. and Elizabeth, decease Cordelia (now Mrs. Hewett), J. Wick, Sheldon and Byron. Mr. L. has been Town Treasurer, also School Treasurer, and held other offices.
R. J. MacBRIDE, lawyer, Neillsville. Born in Philadelpha, PA, June 28, 1847. When he was nineteen years of age started for the West and arrived in Neillsville in October, 1866, and clerked for Hewett, Woods & Co., until 1869. He was giving his attention to reading law in his spare moments, and in 1870 was admitted to the Bar. Married Miss Emeline Niles, of Michigan. Was elected County judge, served from 1870 to 1877, and was appointed alternate delegate to the National Convention that nominated Gen. Hancock for President of the States.
E. H. MARKEY, liveryman, Neillsville. Born in Cambridge, MA, Dec. 25, 1844. He stopped a while in Lawrence. Came to Black River Falls in 1855. When the war broke out he enlisted in the 14th Wis. Vol., as drummer boy, served his time out and re-enlisted in the Veteran Corps till mustered out in 1865, when he returned River Falls, and in 1867 came to Neillsville. Kept a meat market, then went into the livery business in 1870, making him the oldest in business in the place. Ran a stage line in 1875, and at one time he ran coaches from Neillsville to Humbird, Loyal and Hatfield. In 1871, he married Miss Hattie Babcock, of Courtland Co., N. Y. He belongs to the A, O. U. W. Was Clerk of the County and Deputy Sheriff, besides holding some town offices.
DR. W. B. MORLEY, physician, Neillsville, was born in Chautauqua Co., N. Y., Dec. 29, 1852 ; went to Viroqua, Vernon Co., WI, he studied under Dr. W. A. Gott. In 1876, he graduated at the Louisville College, Ky., and commenced practice at Leon, Monroe Co., WI, and came here in 1879; entered on Dr. Crandall's practice. Mr. Morley married, in 1877, Miss Mary Gilliland, of Leon.
HENRY MYERS, druggist, Neillsville, was born in Newfield Tompkins Co., N. Y., March 6, 1841. Worked in his father's grist-mill and at farming; came West to La Crosse, Wis., 1857, and harvested for Jerry Patchem; went to logging on the Black River up to 1879, when he bought Dr. G. C. Lacy, Jr., out, and is now carrying on the store. In the Fall of 1879, his brother bought a half share and the firm is now Myers Bros. In June, 1880, he commenced a fine residence at the corner of State and Fourth streets, costing about $2,500. Mr. Myers enlisted twice, but did not get out of the State. He belongs to the A. O. U. W.
WILLIAM NEVERMAN, brewer, Neillsville, was born Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, June 14, 1834; arrived in Quebec in 1852, came to Milwaukee, going to work on a farm; learned ship building of James Jones in 1856, starting as deck hand from Galena, Illinois, on a steamboat for St. Louis, Mo. In 1857, he arrived in Neillsville, where he worked as house-carpenter till 1861. He enlisted in Company F., 14th WI Vol., as corporal. In 1862, he was reduced to the rank, and although offered promotion again, would not accept. Served time out Dec. 10, 1863: re-enlisted in the Veterans, and was promoted from second to first sergeant, December, 1864, and to second lieutenant, July 12, 1865. When he came home, he commenced the carpenter's trade which he carried on till 1870. In 1869, he built the brewery and brews about 500 or 600 barrels a year. Married, Nov. 30, 1865, to Miss Sophia Sontag of Jefferson County. They have seven children-Mary, Carl, Otto B., Dora, Rudolph G., Alma and Eda. He belongs to the Sons of Hermann and the Foresters. He has been on the Board of Supervisors.
HON. JAMES O'NEILL, proprietor of the O'Neill House and proprietor of the village of Neillsville, was born in the town of Lisbon, St. Lawrence Co..N.Y., May 4,1810. In 1836,started west and brought up at Prairie du Chien, Wis., and there engaged in lumbering on the Black River, and settled on the present site of the village of Neillsville and built the first log cabin in 1845 that was put up in this section, also a saw-mill. In 1847, constructed a frame house; built the first part of the fine hotel called the O'Neill House, in 1858, and opened the hotel as it is now in 1865. Hans Johnson rented it in 1867, and Johnson and Myers bought it in 1868. However Mr. O'Neill has kept it since, buying it back in 1878. Mr. O'Neill has been married twice; Miss Jane Douglas, of Scotland. They had three children-Isabella, now Mrs. Coval, Maria, now Mrs. Darling, Thomas, deceased. Mrs. O'Neill died in 1871 and he married Mrs. Teller in 1873. They have one child, James. Mr. O'Neill was elected to the Assembly in 1848 from Crawford County; in 1867, was elected again to the Assembly for Jackson and Clark counties; has also served as County Treasurer and as Town Supervisor.
JAMES O'NEILL, Jr., attorney, Neillsville, was born in St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., Sept. 3, 1847. He remained there till 1873, studying law. He graduated at Cornell, Utica, N. Y., then attended at law school at Albany, graduated, and was admitted to the Bar in 1873. He then started west and the same year located in this State and entered a steady practice. In 1876, he married Miss Marion Robinson, of Neillsville. They have one child, Ernest, aged four years.
REV. HARVEY PALMER, P. O. Neillsville, was born in Otsego Co., N. Y., Sept. 21, 1808. His parents moved to Herkimer Co., N. Y., in 1821. He was engaged in farming and learned the mason's trade about this period of his life. In 1853, he came to Wisconsin and in Lafayette County joined the Wisconsin Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and filled the following appointments: Wingville, Beetown, Sauk Prairie, Paoli, Springfield, Baraboo and Dodgeville, coming here in 1863; gave his time to preaching, farming and lumbering. Now has a farm of eighty acres. In 1832, March 23, he married Miss Emeline Coon, of New York. They have six children - Hiram, Martha, deceased, Ann, now Mrs. Carnwell, Lorinda, now Mrs. Marsh, William and Uriah. Uriah served in the 4th Wis. V., afterwards in Battery B., U. S. A. Was killed in the battle of Gettysburg. Mr. P. has been Town Treasurer, Supervisor, and has held other offices. He lives on his farm on Sec. 16.
HIRAM PALMER, lumberman, Sec. 16, P. O. Neillsville, was born in Lewis Co., N. Y., May 25, 1833. At an early age, left his native county; arrived in Brown Co., Wis., in 1851, coming to the Wisconsin River and to LaCrosse May 15, 1854, and started on foot for a logging drive up at Eden's where Greenwood now is. W. B. Hawley had charge of the drive. He was engaged as pilot on the Mississippi up to 1871, and has of late years been engaged in lumbering. For a few years in the lumber and mercantile business, but dissolved in 1874. He is now lumbering with James Hewett, having bought his farm. He now owns 240 acres; 140 acres are under cultivation. In 1860, he married Miss Rosa Tucker, of Illinois. They have two children, Morton and Jessie. He was elected Sheriff in 1866; has been Supervisor and held other town offices.
J. A. PARKHURST, Clerk of Clark County Court, was born in Washtenaw Co., Mich., April 11, 1842. Went to Monroe Co., N.Y., in 1849, where he stayed till 1853, then returned to his native county and stopped till February, 1856. In May, visited St. Jo., Mo., and then started overland with a train of merchandise sent out y Jones & Co. to Salt Lake. Returned to Doniphan Co., Kansas, in 1861; secured a position in the office of the Register of Deeds. He then went to Outagamie County; in March, 1861, enlisted in 6th Wis. V. I.; was commissioned second lieutenant in 1863 and returned home. Stayed till 1869, being elected Clerk in 1867, and then traveled through the West. In 1872, commenced studying law in the office of Col. Thorn; was admitted tot he Bar in June 1874; practiced law until February, 1875. Started the newspaper called the Enterprise in Colby, Clark Co., Wis. He moved the paper down to Neillsville, and in 1878 sold to Mr. Cleaver. Mr. Parkhurst was elected Clerk of the County Court in 1877. He married Miss Theresa A. Randall, of Appleton, Outagamie Co. They have two children, Jessie A. and Augustus G.
THOMAS B. PHILPOTT, Sheriff of Clark County, Neillsville. Born in Fording Bridge, Hampshire Co., England, April 14, 1842. Came to America in 1856, locating in Dodge Co., Wis., and worked at the trade of blacksmith with his father, till 1859, when he started across the plains, returning to Dodge County in 1860. When the civil war broke out, he enlisted in the 29th Wis. V. I., Co. I, and was mustered out October, 1865, at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., and returned home. Worked at his trade until 1867, when he came to Loyal, Clark Co., on Christmas day, and came to Neillsville. Was elected Sheriff of Clark County, in 1877, time expires 1883. In 1864, married Miss E. T. Bresee, of Madison, Wis. They have four children-Milton J., Pearl M., George B. and Guy R. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and of the lodges of the I. O. O. F., also of A. O. U. W.
PHILIP RAMMINGER, manufacturer of wagons and carriages, Neillsville. Born in Denmark, Aug. 22, 1849. He came to America in 1852, straight to Sheboygan County, where he remained until 1864; while here, he learned his trade of Peter Kierst. In 1870, he went to Plymouth and worked at the trade of wagon maker, and then to Greenwood, where he opened in 1873. In 1881, sold to Burr Bros., and moved to Neillsville, opened a shop here. In 1874, married Miss Matilda Icksteadt, of Plymouth. They have two children, Alfred, born April 13, 1876, and Cora, born Sept. 8, 1880.
MRS. M. W. REDDAN, hotel, Neillsville, Born in Somerset County, May 21, 1834, and was married to Mr. L. R. Stafford, in 1849. He was a man that was eminently fitted to develop the resources of this section. Was born Aug. 12, 1824. He engaged in lumbering, and brought his wife and family out from LaCrosse, in a wagon drawn by four mules, and driven by a man named Charlie Hewett; they passed through Neillsville, and went on to Weston's Rapids, where there was a large hotel, run by Harry Searls; here they stopped until he had built a house on his land, on Sec. 11, three-fourths of a mile north of Neillsville. He with great ability, continued to build, and finally induced so many to locate around him, that the village was named Staffordsville after him, and at this time it was more of a business place than the county seat. There was a saw mill, grist mill, hotel, machine shop, etc. The little village continued to thrive till 1871, when the founder died, since then the settlement has entirely disappeared, nothing is left but the hotel, which was patronized, till, on the breaking out of the small pox, it was used as a pest house, and is now rapidly falling to pieces. Mrs. Reddan married again in August, 1874, to her present husband, and now holds the old site of Staffordville, and a farm above called the Cowley farm, and keeps the hotel in Neillsville. She had by her first marriage, four children-Alice, Albion, Jamie and Maud.
JOHN REED, lumberman, Neillsville. Born in Northumberland Co., England, May 30, 1828. Came to New Orleans, La., went up the Mississippi River to Kentucky, where he went to work in the coal mines. In 1852, during a strike of the miners, went to Jackson County and bought a farm, then returned to the coal mines of LaSalle Co., Ill., when his health failing, he went to Maryland. In 1854, was lumbering on the Black River. In 1861, enlisted in the 1st Wis. Battery, and served till October, 1864. Came to Clark County, and went to trapping, then into logging, and has been at it ever since. He was staying at Staffordsville when the small pox broke out. In 1874, married Mrs. Evaline Fowler, of Jackson County. They have two children, John H., two years old, and Ruby H., four years old. Mr. Reed belongs to the Masons.
M. C. RING, attorney, Neillsville. Born in East Milton, Rock Co., Wis.,Oct.30,1850. He went to Cooksville, then to Madison, and soon after to Sparta. In 1873, he commenced the study of law with Tyler& Dickinson, went to Madison, and entered the law department of the University. After graduating, came to Neillsville, entered into partnership with C. A. Youmans, and is now practicing under the same name, . tat of Ring & Youmans. In Sept. 13. 1877, married Miss Ida M. Austin, of Neillsville. They have one child, Blanche A., aged three years May 10th.
JACOB ROSSMAN, proprietor Rossman House, Neillsville, was born in Prussia, June 29, 1834. In 1849, he came to New York, arriving there in May, and going right oil to Sheboygan Co., Wis; resided there until 1870, when he came to Neillsville and opened the Rossman House. In connection with the hotel, he has a cigar factory and saloon, and does a business of $20,000 per annum. Mr. Rossman married Miss Catherine Gesserd, of Sheboygan Co., Wis., in i 856. They have seven children living-Louis, George, Frederick, Kate, Julius, Amelia and Ameil ; three deceased-Otto, Jacob and Robert. He served as Sheriff in 1876-7.
HERMAN SCHUSTER, Register of Deeds, Neillsville, was born in Saxony, Germany, Feb. 28, 1833 ; emigrated to America in September, 1844, and landed in New York City, Nov. 7 ; resided there until May, 1872, when he came to Clark Co., Wis., settling on a farm. In October, 1873, he engaged with Messrs. Dewhurst & Hutchinson in the real estate and abstract office. Was elected Register of Deeds in November, 1876, and has continued in office since, being now in his third term. He is also engaged in the real estate business.
G. STERNS, manufacturer, Neillsville, was born in Jonkoeiping, Sweden, May 2, 1821. In 1851, he came to America and settled in Wilmington, Ill., where he learned the cabinet trade. He was troubled with ague, and went to La Crosse. In 1855, he came to Neillsville; thence to Weston's Rapids and worked at the cabinet trade till 1868, when he came to the county seat and put up a turning lathe and shingle mill. In 1878, he got his stave factory into running order, which has a capacity of 7,000 per diem. In 1854, he married Miss Charlotte Medin, of Sweden. They have four children-Henry, Oscar, Clarence and Stella. He belongs to the I. O. O. F.
J. R. STURDEVANT, District Attorney, Neillsville, was born in Jefferson Co., Iowa, Sept. 6,1845. In 1854, he went to Lee Co., Iowa, and then to Neillsville the same year, and attended school; soon after, he began studying law, when, in 1872, he was admitted to the Bar, and, in 1873, was elected District Attorney, which office he has retained until the present time. He was elected County judge at the last election, and takes his place Jan. 1, 1882. Mr. Sturdevant married Miss Mary E. Johnson, of Wapello Co., Iowa, Oct. 19, 1870. They have one child, Claudie R., born Sept. 18, 1871. Mr. S. enlisted in the 4th Wis. Vol., Dec. 26, 1863, and was mustered out Oct. 9, 1865.
J. W. STURDEVANT, farmer and bee raiser, Sec. 22, P. O. Neillsville. was born in Warren Co., Pa.. Sept. 2, 1816. He was engaged in farming and lumbering in his native county, and hearing of the fertility of Iowa, went to Jefferson County of that State, in 1844, then to Lee County, and, in 1854, came to Clark County, and went to farming and bee raising. He began with one hive of bees, and increased until he had 214 ; at present he has but forty, having lost 110 swarms last Winter. He married, in 1840, Miss Mary Ann French, of Vermont. They have six children-Robert F., James F., J. Rufus and Marshall D., living, and Nancy and Gilroy, deceased. Mr. S. has held most all of the town offices.
H. E. TAYLOR. jeweler, Neillsville, was born in Tioga Co.. N. Y., Dee. 31, 1838. He learned his trade partly of D. D. Brown, whom he was with in 1864. Previous to that time, he had worked at carpenter work. In 1861, had enlisted in Company H, 64th N. Y. V., but was discharged on account of being disabled from rheumatism. Returned to New York. Gave his attention to the jeweler's trade, being occupied at it in Minnesota till x$68. Came here and opened a store. In 1872, he married Miss Nellie Chase, of Jackson County.
JAMES A. TEMPLETON, M. D., Neillsville, was barn near the Natural Bridge, Rockbridge Co., Va., Oct. 13, 1832. Family moved to Henry Co., Ind., where his father died, and his mother, with himself and sister, returned to Augusta Co., Va. In 1846, attended Washington College, at Lexington. From there went to the University of Virginia, and entered the medical department. He graduated in 1855. Went to Philadelphia; then to Blue Sulphur Springs, Green Brier Co., W. Va. When the war broke out, was commissioned sergeant in the Confederate army, April 17, 1861. He served during the war, and in 1868, commenced practicing in Bristol, Tenn., where he remained till September, 1879, when he came to Neillsville, and is now following his profession. Married Miss Johnson, of Green Brier Co., W. Va., in 1856. They have five children-Mary, Howard, Emelie, James A. and Nannie E.
J. H. THAYER, clerk, with C. Blakeslee, Neillsville, was born in Penobscot Co., Maine, Aug. 12, 1847. In 1866, went to Wisconsin; then to Michigan, where he remained two years, and then came back to Wisconsin. Engaged in mercantile and lumbering business, and in 1877, commenced his present business with C. Blakeslee. Mr. Thayer married Miss Afary E. Austin, in 1876. They have two children, Minnie and Bessie.
JULIUS TRAGSDORF, manufacturer, Neillsville, was born in Saxony, Germany, Nov. 14, 1847. Having his trade learned, he came to this country in 1869, going to Washington County, where he worked at shoemaking till 1872. Came to Clark County, and opened at Pleasant Ridge. Came to Neillsville in 1875, and now has his place of business on Third street. Was married, in May, 1881, to Miss Julia Campmen, of Bohemia. Austria. Mr. T. belongs to the Lutheran Church.
G. W. TROGNER, manufacturer, Neillsville, was born in St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., Aug. 14, 1847. Moved to Green Co., Wis., in 1849. In 1863, enlisted in Company H., 38th Wis. V. Was mustered out 25th July, 1865, and then turned his attention to the carpenter and joiner's trade, and in the Fall of 1865, came to Neillsville and worked for Hewett & Blakeslee. Then went at his trade, in 1867. Opened his present stand in 187r. Feb. 14, 1868, he married Miss Hannah M. Smith, of Black River Falls.. They have four children-Charlie, George, Minnie and Kate. Is sergeant in the Sherman Guard, belongs to the 1. O. O. F., was a delegate to Milwaukee in February, 1881; is a member of the A. O. U. W.; also of the Foresters, Temple of Honor and Sons of Temperance.
L. WEEKS, merchant, Neillsville, was born in Windom Co., Conn., April 10, 1822. He passed his youth in Cooperstown, Otsego Co., N. Y.; then went to Beaver Dam, Dodge Co., Wis. There worked at the business of carpenter and joiner. In 1860, came to Black River Falls. In 1879, came to Neillsville. Opened his present business in 1880; carries a full line of furniture and undertaker's goods. In 1845, married Miss Emeline Clark, of Cooperstown, N. Y. They have two children Irving, Nellie A. and Robert-three deceased, Mary, James C. and an infant. Belongs. to the Independent Order of Foresters, and to the Presbyterian Church.
O. P. WELLS, merchant, Neillsville, was born in Erie Co., Penn., Aug. 15, 1839. He went to Calhoun Co., Mich., in 1844, and to LaCrosse, Wis., in 1854. While there he learned the tinner's trade, working at the same time at Black River Falls. In 1865, came to Neillsville, and opened the first hardware store in the place. From 1865 to 1871, he had a partner and the firm was Wells & Co. He is now alone in the business. Carries a stock of $3,000 to $4,000. Was married, in 1859, to Miss A. S. Graham, of Black River Falls. They have three children- Imogene (deceased), Bertie A. and Syble A.
H. N. WITHEE, Deputy County Treasurer, Neillsville, was born in Somerset Co., Maine, Dec. 3, 1824. Remained in his native county till 1866, with the exception of a visit to the State of Wisconsin, in 1855; then came to Jackson County, where he engaged in farming, and was there till 1878, coming to Neillsville in the Spring of the same year. Mr. Withee was appointed Deputy County Treasurer in 1879. January 1st. In 1854, married Miss Sarah N. Nutting, of Somerset Co., Maine. They have a family of seven children-John F., Lyman F., Charles B., Henry Alvin, Alvin Z., Levi and Lavisa.
C. A. YOUMANS, attorney, Neillsville, was born in Kenosha, Wis., Oct. 14, 1847. In 1852, moved to Columbia County, where he read law with 1-1. J. Shill. lawyer and merchant, and also with Edgehart & Youmans. In IS72, he came to Neillsville; was admitted to the Bar in 1876, on the certificate of graduation from the law department of the Madison University; is now of the firm of Ring & Youmans, attorneys. In 1877 he was appointed County judge, to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Robert J. McBride. Was married Jan. 10, 1877, to Miss Nellie French, of Neillsville. They have one child, seven months old.
TOWN OF GRANT
CHARLES CORNELIUS, Postmaster, merchant. Sec. 12, P.O. Maple Works. Born in Ozaukee Co., Wis., Jan. 4, 1855; moved to Sheboygan County in 1863 ; while there followed selling sewing machines and organs; moved to Maple Works in 1878 and opened a general merchandise and farm implements, carrying a stock of doing a business of $35,000 a Year- He bought his store Hover. He is a single man.
HENRY COUNSELL, farmer, Sec. 20, P. O. Neillsville Somersetshire, England, March 15, 1835. His Parents came to America, in 1848. When Henry was thirteen years of age, landed in N. Y., and came to Wisconsin, locating in Waukesha County, stopping on a farm where he remained until 1857; came to Clark County and bought a farm on Sec. 20, town of Grant, where he is now living; he owns 160 acres. In 1859, married Miss Susanna Pope, of England. five children-Ida, William, Josiah, Oscar and Nettie B. Mr. C. has held town offices, and his family attend the Methodist Episcopal Church.
JOHN S. DORE, County Superintendent of Schools, farmer, section 19, P. O. Neillsville. Born in Summerset Co., Maine, Dec. 26, 1839. On coming to Wisconsin he settled in what was then Marquette County, now Green Lake; in 1851, he arrived at Mormon Riffle work getting out ties; in 1859, he taught district school; at the suggestion of judge Gale, he attended the University of Galesville. In 1865, edited the Union Flag, the first number was published Feb. 23, 1865; on suspending that paper, started the Journal, Jan.31, 1867. S. Dickinson was associated on the Flag and E. Merritt on the journal staff. He is now farming when not attending to his official duties, raising blooded stock. Jan. 1, 1863, married Miss. L. Jennie Angell, of La Crosse. They have five children-Clara, Ray, Edna, Earl, deceased; Mary, an infant, deceased, and Jennie. Mr. D. belongs to the Good Templars.
ARTHUR HUTCHINSON, farmer and Postmaster, Sec. 15, P. O., Pleasant Ridge. Born in Yorkshire, England, Aug.15,1841. With his parents he came to Quebec; he went to Centreville, Penn., the to Delaware, and in 1853, to Waukesha Co., Wis., farmed there; went to the Mississippi River, and arrived here in 1897; bought three forties, and commenced clearing. In 1864, lie enlisted in the 48th Wis. Vol.; mustered out in 1865, and came home. He married Miss Phebe A. Buss, of Buffalo, N. Y., in 1868. They have five children-Mary Jane, Florence E., Arthur H., Bertie A., and Alfred. He has held the offices of Assessor, Treasurer, and been Postmaster ever since he came to the section. Belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church.
NELSON MARSH. farmer, Sec. 2, P. O. Maple Works. Born in Susquehanna County, Aug. 14. 1828. The family moved to Bradford County, and there he learned his trade with his father, who was a shoemaker and cooper. After his father died in 1852, he ran the shop; came to Clark County in 1857, settled at Maple Works; his brother came out in 1856, and bought a farm for him; he has now a 120 acres; they were the first settlers at Maple Works, the next being Abraham Taylor. In October, 1864, Mr. Marsh was drafted into Co. B. 3rd Wis.; being laid up in the hospital, got home in 1865; went to farming; keeps strangers, and runs a shoe shop. In 1850, He married Miss Amanda R. Taylor, of Connecticut. They have six children living-Joseph, Lewis, Malvina, Sylvester L., Alva B., Justin R. and Angelina and Spencer M., deceased. Mr. M. was the first Postmaster of Maple Works, and Justice of the Peace for twenty years.
THOMAS REED, farmer, See. 18, P. O., Neillsville. Born in Piscataquis Co., Maine, July 11, 1830. He was raised on a farm, and did not leave home till 1855, when lie came to Black River and commenced lumbering ; in 1856-57, was with Mr. Bruce. He has been in the business twenty winters; part of the time for himself. In 1861, preempted 120 acres, and now has 320 acres, besides a large lot of lumber. The firm was formerly Reed & Page. He sold last winter to Cramer. In 1858, he married Miss Lucretia Marsh of Michigan. They have two children, Celia, now Mrs. Benedict, and Hattie; two dead, John and Emerretta. Mr. Reed has been County Supervisor, County Commissioner, and Chairman of the Town Board for several years, and belongs to the Masons.
The History of Humbird, Wisconsin
This thriving village is situated in the southwest portion of the county, on the line of the West Wisconsin Railroad and took its name from Jacob Humbird, a well known railroad contractor.
The earliest settlers in this part of the county were, Orvin Wilson, a Mr. Alderman, who owned the land on which the village was laid out, Elisha, Isaac and Elijah Hurl, Ashael Webster, E. Webster, Horace Stiles, George W. King and Charles Miller.
In 1869, Mr. Alderman laid off forty acres for a village site, caused the same to be surveyed and platted, and the place now known as Humbird, occupied by graded streets, bordered by fine buildings, was then covered with heavy timber, where deer and wild animals wandered at will. At that time the railroad had not been completed; still a spirit of the enterprise was manifested by those already on the ground, and of adventure, by the comparatively frequent arrivals of settlers, many of who became permanent. The first building erected after the survey was the Rocky Mound House, which was erected by George W. King, and used as a hotel. F. D. Carter and F. W. Whitcomb were among the early arrivals. They built residences and opened the first store in Humbird. A man named Bump came about came about this time from Black River Falls and opened a store, also. The arrivals between 1870-73 were quite numerous, and the village assumed an appearance of age, while it was yet young, with its mill, brewery, hotels, stores, shops, all commodious and neatly painted. Among these was William Schmidt, who built the flouring mill; Michael Andrews, who erected the brewery; Edward Freeman, Isaac Cross, Robert McElhose, Biswell Alderman, Mr. Whipple, the first carpenter; E. Edwards, the first wagon maker; George Cole, Joshua Gore, David Hoyner, E. D. Travis and Lawrence Sloan, all of whom engaged in business, and have contributed to the welfare and prosperity of their adopted home.
In the Fall of 1873, the village was overtaken by visitation of the small-pox, which created a havoc among the inhabitants and retarded its growth for several years. In the previous year the railroad had been completed, and Humbird had become a prominent point for the shipment of grain and lumber from the surrounding country. In a brief period this was summarily checked, and for ensuing two years the shipments were comparatively light. About twenty-five residents died during the continuance of the scourge, the corpses being buried at night; business was suspended, and trains rushed by the station as if fleeing from the wrath in pursuit. All the Winter of 1873-74 was one of desolation, indescribable; nor did the Spring bring encouragement to the afflicted residents. As the year advanced, business, however, began to revive, and occasional traveler would come in and decide to remain, and with the dawn of the Centennial year of American Independence, Humbird had fully recovered from the effects of this temporary paralysis. The new arrivals of that period, and since, include, among others, Henry Clark, O. G. Tripp, A. E. Holbrook, J. Q. A. Bull, Mr. Hickox, Frederick Robfax, C. Fowler, Peter Frances, Christopher Rector, R. D. Shaw, D. A. Tracy, L. D. Halstead, Peter Wilson, and others.
These also projected and completed improvements, and have identified themselves with the growth and advancement of the village. Humbird cannot help being a permanent and thriving town, situated, as it is, with large pineries on one side and on the other a rich farming country, leading even into Minnesota, from which large amounts of produce are hauled by farmers to this place and exchanged for manufactured lumber. In addition to the lumber trade, there are extensive growths of pine timber north and east, manufactured at these points are either shipped to Humbird or pass through, en route to Minnesota. The village, like many other thriving villages of the West, enjoys the residence of enterprising citizens, whose courage, ambition and attention to business are a valuable guarantee of the future prosperity of the place.
The population is quoted at between 300 and 350.
The first school opened in the vicinity of the village was taught in a small frame which stood opposite the Webster House, and was continued in that locality until 1870. In the latter year, the number of pupils was so in excess of the accommodations that it was decided to establish a graded school, and the present edifice was erected at a cost of $2,500.
At present two teachers are employed, the average daily attendance is 100 pupils, and the expense incident to maintaining the school is $1,3oo per annum.
John Stallard, Isaac Cross and Orvin Wilson constitute the School Board at present.
Humbird as yet is without a church edifice, though there are three church societies, though each is limited in numbers. The Free Methodists meet in the Town Hall weekly, when they are addressed by Mrs. Dutton ; the Methodist Episcopal society are addressed semimonthly by the Rev. Mr. Robinson, services being held in Carter & Whitcomb's Hall, and the Seven-Day Advents, at the residence of Warren McClafflen, Saturdays.
Humbird Lodge, No. 191, A. F. & A. M., was organized in April, 1874, with thirteen members, and worked under a dispensation until June following, when it was regularly chartered, and the following officers elected : F. W. Whitcomb, W. M.; FL C. Holbrook, S. W.; E. P. Houghton, J. W.; A. B, Holbrook, secretary; Warren Page, treasurer, and Oliver Houghton, Tyler. The present officers are: E. P. Houghton, W. M.; E. J. McKinley, S. W.; S. A. Wise, J. W.; F. W. Whitcomb, secretary; Oliver Houghton, treasurer; W. H. Clark. S. D. ; Albeit Alderman, J. D.; W. H. Colfax, Tyler. The present membership is thirty-five; meetings are held on the first and third Saturday nights of each month, and lodge property is valued at $500.
Humbird Lodge. No. 252, I. O. O. F., was organized February 10, 1876, with a complement of members, and the following officers: C. B. Hackney, N. G.; J. Q. A. Bull, V. G.; G. A. Tracy, secretary, and L. Wilder, treasurer. The present officers are: R. D. McElliose, N. G.; A. D. Stiles, V. G.; Allen Young, secretary, and E. D. Benson, treasurer. The present members number forty; meetings are held every Saturday night, and lodge property is valued at $1,000.
Rocky Mound Lodge, No. 190, I. O. G. T., was organized April 10, 1875, with twenty members. The officers were: Calvin Allen, W. C. T.; Mrs. Sarah Toff, W. V. T.; W. H. Clark and R. D. McElhose, secretaries; Mrs. Emma Clark, treasurer; W. L. Stanton, chaplain; F. J. Simons, marshal; G. A. Tracy, P.W.C.T. Meetings are held weekly, on Wednesday evenings; the present membership is forty- two, and the officers are: C. Fowler, W. C. T.; Miss Lou Cross, W. V. T. - Miss Inez Holbrook and Mrs. F. L. Stevens, secretaries ; David Fitzmorris, treasurer; Frank Bockus, chaplain, and William Sloan, marshal.
The manufacturing interests of the village consist of a planing-mill, flouring-mill and brewery. The former was put up by E. D. Carter, in 1877, at a cost of $2,500, and is supplied with machinery affording capacity for 25,000 feet of lumber per dieum.
The flouring-mill was erected by William Schmidt, in 1873, and is three stories high. It is supplied with two run of stone, with capacity of fifty barrels of flour in twenty- four hours, and is operated by water power from Hale's Creek. The cost of the mill is estimated to have been $5,000.
Eilert's Brewery, on Hale's Creek branch, was erected in 1870, by Andrews & Gunderson. The following year the same was purchased by Enos Eilert, who has since completed improvements and operated the business. He employs four hands, turns out 1,000 barrels of beer, and does a business of $10,000 Per year.
The Post-office was established in Humbird about 1871, whence it was removed from Garden Valley, and D. B. Travis appointed Postmaster. He is still in the service, and mails are received twice daily from east and west.
The cemetery is situated a mile and a half from the village, in a northwesterly direction, where it was laid out, in 1871, on land formerly owned by Orvin Wilson. The grounds are prettily platted, securely fenced and kept in good order.
Greenwood, almost equi-distance between Black and Rock rivers, in Eaton Township, though of comparatively recent establishment and growth, is already a population of nearly 250, and gives evidence in its improvements and otherwise of the character of the people who have located in that vicinity. It is seventeen miles from Neillsville, four from Hemlock, and eight miles from Longwood Post-Office, and is adjacent to valuable waterpowers, as also the distributing point for a rich agricultural region.
The earliest settlers about Greenwood included, Elijah Eaton, S. C. Honeywell, Samuel Lambert, C. W. Carpenter, George Huntzicker, Jacob Huntzicker, Jones Tompkins, George Christie, and others, who ventured into this section at various periods from 1847 to 1863, where they engaged in farming, lumbering and other pursuits. Stephen C. Honeywell came in about 1862, and opening a farm on the present site of the village, engaged extensively in agriculture and logging, which he conducted successfully and profitably. About 1867, the question of laying out a village contiguous to lumbering operations began to be first mooted, but no decisive action looking to that object was then inaugurated. This ran along for several years without efforts being made, until supplies, which had been previously purchased at Neillsville and Black River Falls, were accessible in the vicinity of Greenwood, when the long debated subject was decided favorably to enterprise, and the preparations made to begin the founding of the village.
On the 6th of June, 1871, William Welsch surveyed and platted Greenwood, and with the disposition of these preliminaries, lots were purchased and improvements. The number of domiciles then visible was limited to the log houses and frame structures of settlers who had located before a village was even remotely considered, and it was some time before offers made by owners of lots were availed of by purchasers. In 1872, very few located here, among these, possible, doubtless, Mrs. B. F. Brown, who opened the first store. The following year, A. S. Eaton removed to Greenwood from Black River Falls and opened a hardware store, at the same time officiating as Postmaster. The same year, Frank Pfeiffer emigrated to Wisconsin from Germany, and settled in Greenwood. A. W. Bailey, who had carried on a business of manufacturing sash, doors, binds, etc., at Black River Falls, established himself at Greenwood, as did Louis Rossman, a mechanic from Sheboygan, and some others. In about 1874, Dr. G. H. Thomas opened a drug store. Warners, Hunts, Bowermans and a large proportion of the inhabitants who have since remained in the village made their first advent here. August 6th of the following year, North Greenwood, composing thirty-two lots was surveyed and added to the original survey, but as yet is but indifferently built up. Six years before, a religious society had been organized among the residents of the surrounding country, and in 1877, the Methodist Church edifice, one of the largest and most conveniently arranged in the county was built and dedicated. During this period services had been held in the school-house, which is an inference beyond dispute, that the cause of education had not been neglected, and other interests had been conserved and protected with equal care and diligence, the happy effect of which is apparent to the casual visitor of today.
Though young, Greenwood is claimed to be most desirably located. In the center of a rich farming country, covered with the fruit of man’s labors in arable fields under fence, with more than ordinarily good buildings and in some instances elegant dwellings, erected in view of the passer, the support thus obtained will be invaluable. The same can be said of the logging and lumber interests.
The first birth to occur after the village was laid off, is claimed as that of Maude Brown; the first marriage, John Honeywell and Rachel Hodges, in the Fall of 1871; and the first death, Elijah Eaton, December 4, 1872.
The first school in the vicinity was taught by David Hoseley, in a log cabin, the site of which is now occupied by Warner’s store. This was during the was and the roster of pupils was limited to children of the Eaton and Honeywell families, with those of John Dwyer’s family, all told, not exceeding a baker’s dozen. From this place it was removed to Robert Schofield’s log house, still standing, and when the village was surveyed, the building now occupied, adjoining George Slater’s residence, was adopted. During the Summer of 1881, a new building of frame, designed for a graded school, was commenced and completed that same Fall, costing, furnished, a total of $7,000.
For the scholastic year ending in June, 1881, the expense incident tot he support of the school during the year had been $650. One teacher was employed, and the Board was made up of Elias Peterson, director; W. F. Armstrong, secretary; and S. M. Andrews, treasurer.
Hercules Lodge, No. 181, I. O. O. F., was organized in August, 1870 at Staffordville, where it worked until 1876, when its removal to Greenwood was accomplished. At that time the officers were: W. H. Mead, N. G.; Robert Schofield, V. G.; Henry Peck, secretary; and John Hoyt, treasurer. In 1879, the lodge erected a building nearly opposite the Methodist Church, where meetings, which are convened regularly every Saturday evening, are held. The present officers are: Elias Peterson, N. G.; George McConnell, V. G.; W. J. Armstrong, secretary; John Stewart, treasurer. The present roster has sixty members, and lodge property is represented at $800.
Frontier Lodge, No. 372, I. O. G. T., was organized in the Winter of 1879 with thirteen members and the following officers: W. J. Armstrong, W. C. T., Miss Elizabeth Andrews, W. V. T.; H. W. Hunt, W. R. S.; Charles Barber, chaplain; Mrs. M. A. Hunt, W. T.; Joseph Hodges, marshal; and L. M. Stevens, P. W. C. T. Within the next two years, the order grew in numbers and strength, and in the Summer of 1881, enjoyed the support of seventy-three members, who renewed their resolutions to avoid liquor drinking, on Friday evenings, and owned property valued at $100. At that period, the officers were: L. R. Warner, W. C. T.; Thomas Miller, Jr., A. F. McMahon and Mrs. J. F. Bailey, secretaries; Mrs. Hannah Bowman, chaplain; Miss Hattie Miller, treasurer; and John Miller, marshal.
Greenwood Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in the Winter of 1869, with a small membership, under the auspices of the Rev. Mr. Bushnell, and held services at long intervals in the school-house until 1877. In that year, the present church edifice was completed and dedicated. The cost of the structure was $3,600. The congregation at present numbers seventy-five members, under the pastorate of the Rev. C. C. Swartz.
Greenwood cemetery was laid out, in about 1867 or ’68, on two acres of half a mile west of the village and near Black River. It is used as a burial place for the dead of Eaton and Warren townships, and is under the control of the town officers.
Post-office was first opened in 1873, with B. F. Brown as Postmaster, who remained in charge until 1880, when he was relieved by A. S. Eaton. The latter is still in the service.
TOWN OF LOYAL
"In 1878 The Black River Improvement Association built their own telephone line between Dells Dam and Hemlock. This was practically an individual line for logger's use, to order supplies, etc. The company did install a telephone in Jones Bros. And Johnson store." (1934 History of Greenwood, WI)
"Henry Ferguson lived where William Schlinsog now lives. Ferguson was Chairman of the Town Board of Supervisors. He started making a highway from Hemlock Dam in almost a bee-line northwest to his place. Several miles were cut out four rods wide and a few places turnpiked. It crossed the present highway just south of the Braun cemetery (Forest Hill). A short piece of turnpike was built to the top of the hill west of the creek, but it was never finished and has all been abandoned. He sold his farm to Jacob Kreissig, father of Ernest and Mrs. Lena Schlinsong." (History of Braun Settlement School, by Chas. Varney)
Hemlock, located twenty miles north of Neillsville, in Warner Township, and is the location of the dam of the Black River Logging Company's dam, also of a grist and saw-mill, the latter owned by Niran H. Withee. The dam was completed in 1879, at a cost of $21,000, and is one of the most complete works of improvement in the county. Of the other improvements, the grist-mill was finished in 1879, and is supplied with three run of stone. It is a frame, four stories high, and does a large local business. The saw-mill is also of frame, two stories high, and is furnished with a rotary and upright saw. The total investment is between $10,000 and $15,000. The settlement is connected with Neillsville by telephone, erected in 1879. at a cost of $800.
Longwood Post-office is located eight miles north of Greenwood, and consists of a store and Post-office, kept by Edward A. Eaton. (1881 History of Northern Wisconsin).
Life at Hemlock
Jacob Bibel lived about a mile northwest of Hemlock, on the land later owned by Al Armstrong. Bibel who had come from the old country a few years previous, was a tall, homely, man with large protruding eyes and black whiskers that made him look like a monkey. He had found a wife near Milwaukee, who was seventeen years old when he married her and bore a poor reputation. She was a good worker and always helped with the outside work. One day in January 1881, while the two were hauling logs to Black River at Hemlock and while unloading, they became involved in a dispute. Mrs. Bibel drew a revolver, which she always carried, and shot him dead. She dragged the body back into the woods and left it. She returned home with the ox-team and went about her work as usual. Later she went to Harry Meads, telling them Jacob had gone away with a man and had not returned. About a week after, Joe Palmer, the miller at Hemlock, and Fred Limprecht noticed crows or ravens circling and cawing around and knew something was wrong, so went to investigate and found the body of Bibel doubled up behind a log, frozen stiff. The body was brought to town and put in Honeywell's warehouse, the building later occupied by Ed Schwarze. As some men were putting the body into a barrel of water to thaw it out, Woodie Chandler, who happened to be "about three sheets in the wind", said "Take another dive, Jacob, take another dive". For a long time after this building was a place to fear, and even adults hurried past after nightfall.
Mrs. Bibel was arrested and taken to Neillsville and while there in jail a baby boy was born to her.
She denied having murdered her husband. When court sat in March, her lawyer, Robert J. McBride, cleared her. She confessed, but claimed self-defense, as Jacob had come toward her threateningly with a canthook.
There are a large number of small streams, without names, flowing through Warner township—enough to water the surface sufficiently. Black river flows south through the eastern township. Popple river unites with Black river in this town, just above the village of Hemlock. A large flood dam has been built across Black river at Hemlock, which is used in flooding or floating logs down the river, and also in running the mills at Hemlock. The South Fork of the Eau Claire river flows through the middle township, and the North Fork of the same river through the western township. All of these streams have been used largely in floating the pine timber, which grew in the town, to market. The western township was originally covered with a thick growth of pine timber. This however, has nearly all been cut, leaving but very little timber of any value.
The little village of Hemlock, on Black river, has two large mills, one flour mill and one lumber, shingle and lath mill. The water power, by which these mills are run, is unlimited here. There is a sufficient volume and fall to run any number of mills and factories. Hemlock is the northern terminus of the telephone line which extends south to La Crosse, and east to the towns on the Wisconsin Central line. It is the longest telephone line in this section of the country.
The census reports for '75, '80 and '85 recorded the population of Warner Township, which included Hemlock were: in 1875, 294; in 1880, 435; in 1885, 590.
At one time the Warner Town Hall was situated in the tiny village of Hemlock. The officers of Warner township for 1890 were: Chairman, W. H. Mead; clerk, William Vollrath; treasurer, Henry Humke; assessor, A. Larson.
(Source: Clark Co. Illustrated, 1890)
The Hemlock, WI Community Scrapbook
The Flood of Hemlock-1914
The saw mill was taken first and when it swung down stream the roller mills were hit and tipped off its foundation. The bridge was first to go, followed by other small buildings and some lumber and shingles. Men and teams were at work there most of the afternoon taking the grain, flour and feed out of the mill to a place of safety. But before their task was completed the mill was taken by the torrent of water. During the afternoon crowds of sight-seers were at the dams and bridges watching with a great deal of excitement as debris, roots, logs and other material came floating down stream. At one time great fear was entertained for the safety of the wagon bridge when the roof of the Hemlock mills was seen coming down stream. The bridge received a severe jolt and the roof collapsed and slid under. (Greenwood Gleaner, June 14, 1914).
The History of Clark County, Wisconsin, compiled by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge in 1918 says the three greatest disaster to befall Greenwood were the fire of 1885, which destroyed eight buildings and left a blackened gap in the village, the fire of 1900, which destroyed the Kippenhan & Palms Heading Mill, and the flood of 1914, which took out the dike dam and mill at Hemlock, and the bridge across the Black River, in addition to other damage done in the region up and down the valley. "It is estimated that about 25 feet of the levee on the east bank of the Greenwood Dam was taken out and some damage done to the power house. The ripraping on the east bank was removed and part of the pier in the pond was lifted and taken down stream. The Machinery in the power house, including the switch board and dynamo, were saved by the diligent work of several during the time water was running on the levee...At Hemlock the saw and grist mills were wiped out by the dam bursting." (Greenwood Gleaner, June 11, 1914).
Photos of Hemlock (before and after the flood of 1914).
This thriving town is on the Wisconsin Central Railrad, which is here located on the line between Marathon County on the east and Clark County on the west. On the one side it is Hull, Marathon Co.; on the other, Colby, Clark Co. And on account of this political bi-section of the village, there is a want of harmony and unity of purpose which conspires to prevent concord of action. A village organization in the near future will correct this incongruity, and Colby will spring into a neat and well-appointed village, with a modern character.
Colby is a development of the Wisconsin Central Railroad, whose first business is to work up the pine and hardwood timber on every hand. It is near the Big Eau Plaine, which is a prominent tributary of the Wisconsin.
The first white man to penetrate this northern, almost impenetrable woods, was Ira S. Graves, who, with his brother Leroy, built a mill a mile or so below the present site of Colby. N. J. White was associated with them in the lumber business.
In 1873, the railroad reached this point, and the place must be dated from this time. Mr. Levi Woodberry was an early settler. The place received regular accession until, in February, 1876, Griffin & Co., started a newspaper, the Enterprise. After a while, J. A. Parkhurst alone managed the concern, and, at the end of two years, having been elected County Clerk, or Clerk of the Court, the people of Colby suffered him to remove the paper to Neillsville, where it soon died of nostalgia.
In 1878, on the 18th of September, Samuel J. and Joel J. Schafer started the Phonograph, a live newspaper, which still lives to speculate upon and chronicle passing events.
In October, 1879, the citizens undertook to build a town hall, which should be a public utility and contain a library. G. R. Colby, in whose honor the town was named, offered $500 towards the expense, and the members of the Presbyterian Church, who had a frame standing, offered to relinquish their claim upon it. So, work was begun upon it, and it is in progress as a public building.
In December, 1879, a literary association was formed, with George J. Walbridge, president; Mrs. D. S. Bullock, vice-president; Ch. F. Grove, librarian; J. B. Carpenter, treasurer.
On Friday, June 17, 1880, Lars Jacobson was accidentally killed in Potter & Ferguson Brothers' Mill.
The business in Colby was divided as follows:
Lumber-mill-Potter & Ferguson Bros.
Planing-mill--E. Decker and Co., A. LaMont being the other member of the firm.
Saw, shingle and broom-handle factory--west of the village; J. D. Thomas
North of the village is a lumber and shingle mill, built by Mr. P. R. Edminster, and owned by Rogers Bros., of Milwaukee, which is not running.
Two miles below the village is the saw and shingle mill of e. Decker & Co.
A mill was built by Mr. Stevens, in 1876. It was burned the next season.
A flouring-mill was built by Reynolds & Bryant, in 1879, and has two run of stones; a wagon, carriage and sleigh works in run by N. P. Peterman; Blacksmithing by Charles Holtzhousen, Fred. Roth; "pop" manufacturer, M. Kramer; shoemakers, A Becherer and Frank Fernstahl; cabinet shops, C. R. Taylor and C. P. Bahl; general merchandise, Andrew Flaig, Frank Brott, Fred. Bredemyer and B. F. Walker; hardware, G. J. Walbridge and D. J. Estell; drugstores, Henry Seigrist and B. A. Wilms; millinery, Miss Annie Davis and sister; tailor, William Risch; saloons--one billiard hall and four other saloons.
The churches have not yet secured a very firm footing in Colby. The Catholics have a mission here, supplied from Medford, Taylor co., having bought the old schoolhouse as a nucleus for future operations.
A Presbyterian organization was effected in 1874, and the Rev. R. A. Fuller preached here in the schoolhouse until 1877.
The Methodists and Baptists also have organizations, but have not yet accumulated strength sufficient to go alone.
Lawyers--Charls F. Grow, R. B. Salter.
Doctor--D. R. Freeman
Potter & Ferguson Bros.'s mill was twice burned, and had a boiler explosion, but, Phoenix like, it arose from its ashes.
Faternal--Masonic--Colby Lodge, No. 204. N. J. White, W. M.; D. R. Freeman, secretary.
Odd Fellows--Colby Lodge, No. 234. Oliver Yerks, N. G.; F. H. Darling, R. S.
Good Templars--Forest Lodge, No. 253. W. E. Collins, W. C. T.; W. H. Bartell, R. S.
Railroad Business--The transactions at the depot in Colby is $2,400 a nonth, on an average. F. L. Dille is the station agent.
Post-office--G. J. Walbridge, Postmaster; E. Merritt, assistant. Seventy-five dollars a month in stamps is sold.
Colby House--G. W. Ghoea, proprietor.
Brehm's Hotel--Herman Brehm, proprietor; Paul Zollic, office clerk.
There is around Colby, for miles, large quantities of lumber, pine and hardwood, and with farms opening up on all sides, it is destined to be a village of large proportions.
This is one of the towns springing up on the line of the Wisconsin Central railway. It is three miles north of Abbotsford, in the midst of a dense hardwood region, interspersed white pine, which is rapidly disappearing. The region is good farming land, a clayey loam.
The Eau Pleine River is three miles east, and the Popular three miles west; the one running into the Wisconsin the other into the Black River. There are at present, perhaps, 400 people in the village.
R. G. Miltimore is Postmaster, with John Miltimore as assistant; $70 a month is received for stamps.
R. P. Ruling, is station agent. Amount of receipts for freight forwarded, per month, $1,394; freight received, $500; passenger fares, $220.
The American Express Company and the Western Union Telegraph Company have offices here.
The place was first settled in 1874.
Sumner Hugaboom, Silas and George Shepard, Peter Rueben, L. N. Robbins, were among the earliest comers.
In the future, however, all those who are here now and are mentioned as in business, will be considered as the pioneers of Dorchester.
The saw-mill was built by R. C. Evans. It afterwards was in the hands of the Wisconsin Central Railroad Company. Its cost was $50,000, and was for a time in charge of E. L. Swarthout. It was burned and rebuilt in the Winter of 1880--1, and in the first season cut six million feet into lumber, shingle and lath. The mill has a double rotary, with planer and other dressing machinery.
General Merchandise Dealers--Miltimore Bros., H. Laborris, Pomplitz Brothers, A. F. Sumner, Larson & Ulnen, O. D. Vandurn & Co.
Shoe Shop--N. Reddig.
Land-Agent--E. L. Swarthout.
Two hotels, Central House, Sumner Hugaboom, proprietor; Donnelly House, Michael Donnelly, proprietor.
Religious--There are as yet no church buildings, but the Catholics, German Lutheran, Methodists and Presbyterians have adherents and the place is considered missionary ground, to be supplied from the neighboring towns.
Schools--The educational interests of the town are well provided for. The schoolhouse was built in 1876. There are 100 enrolled pupils. W. C. Mason is the principal and Mrs. Florence May, assistant.
A lodge of Good Templars is in town, and a division of the Sons of Temperance.
Logs have to hauled from two to five miles, that is the pine; the hardwood is hardly encroached upon at all.
The village is well laid out, and certainly has a promising future.
This village is the result of the construction of the Wisconsin Central Railroad, and lays on both sides of the road--the west side in Clark County, in the the town of Unity; the other side in Princeton, Marathon County. It is on a hardwood ridge, the highest point of land between Stevens Point and Medford, in the midst of good farming land. It is well laid out and as an evidence of progress has considerable sidewalk. It is a place of constant growth. The population is over 300. The town of Brighton has 846, Unity town 600.
The post office is on the Marathon side. J. H. Cook is Postmaster, A. H. McCabe, assistant.
D. J. Spaulding & VanHausear built the sawmill in 1872, upon which the prosperity of the town depends. It cuts 40,000 feet of lumber, 70,000 shingle and 15,000 lath per day. It has a double rotary and other improved machinery, operted by steam.
There are two blacksmith shops in the village--G. W. Henderson, who also does wagon work, and Fred Janning. The boot and shoe makers are Phillip Kline, Jacob Reminger; the livery stable is owned by Joseph Wicker; the meat market by Charles Flood; the hotel, Forest House, by Aug. Homested; general merchandise is sold by Rosenfeld & Newman, J. A. Pettet, N. C. Ransom; J. A. Cook sells drugs, medicines, crockery, glassware, doors, windows, etc. The village barber is John Sohn.
Unity has a remarkable unanimity in church matters, as there is but one denomination represented here, the Methodist. This society was organized in 1876, and the church was built in 1880. The following ministers have officiated here since the church was started: Revs. Woddley, Fuller, Howes, Woodruff, and the present pastor, Rev. Charles Barker. There is a flourishing Sunday School of forty scholars, and a branch at Maple Grove west of the city.
There is a good Union School on the Marathon side of the railroad, wiht a good building, and three departments. J. W. Saller is the principal and Miss E. M. Petrie assistant.
The Unity Lodge of Odd Fellows was instited Jan. 29, 1878, with J. C. Berry, N. G.; G. W. Peterson, V. G.; S. A Cook, R. S. Since then the N. G.'s have been G. W. Peterson, S. A. Cook, William Crawford, Adam Petrie, J. H. Cook.
The Encampment was instituted May 10, 1881, J. A. Pettet, C. P.; J. H. Cook, H. P.; C. H. Burgess, S. D.; G. W. Peterson, J. D.; William Crawford, C.; Charles Barker. Sen.; A. Petrie, Treas.; F. A. Darling, S.
There is also a lodge of Good Templers.
In January, 1880, a literary society was organized with J. H. Cook, president, and Stephen Woodruff, secretary. Meetings are held fortnightly. One of the primary objects is to secure a good library which is well under headway.
The Unity Guards, belonging to the Wisconsin National Guards, is officered as follows: J. H. Cook, captain; G. W. Ghoca, first lieutenant; G. W. Henderson, second lieutenant, and has eight-five members.
Unity has a promising future.
This is in Clark County, at the junction of the Chippewa Falls Railroad with the Wisconsin Central, which was completed in the Fall of 1880. It is 3 miles north of Colby, 218 miles from Milwaukee, and 132 from Ashland, the northern terminus of the Central.
It is in the midst of a dense forest, with a wide variety of timber. Several hundred acres at this point have been cleared, and a village laid out on the east of the railroad, to the Marathon County line, a few blocks away. The streets, at right angles with the railroad, are named, beginning at the north, Pine, Maple, Cedar, Oak, Birch, Spruce; parallel with the railroad, the streets are called, First, Second, Third and Division streets.
One year old, the village has a depot, with an eating house seating 136, and with twenty-one sleeping rooms, and about twenty other buildings.
William Livingston has a good hotel on Second street, nearly opposite the depot. S. A. Cook has a store with general merchandise. Then there are three saloons and one restaurant. John Johnson keeps the railroad hotel, called the Abbot Hotel. Charles Partridge is Postmaster. Roads are constructing, and a a lumber yard is already located here. and when the line from Wausau reaches the place, as is contemplated, it must become the center of an active hardwood manufacturing interest, and ultimately of a farming one.
© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.
Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.
A site created and
maintained by the Clark County History Buffs